area of Srinagar city.
Eyewitnesses told a group of three pistol borne militants appeared at Qamarwari chowk this afternoon and fired upon a police patrol from close range killing a constable on the spot. The militants tried to flee from the spot. However, an alert cop fired at the fleeing militants, killing all of them. A civilian identified as Mohammad Maqbool, Mohammad Ramzan Bhat, Panzinara, Sumbal was also injured in the incident.
Two silencer fitted pistols, three hand grenades were recovered from the possession of slain militants.
Two of the slain militants have been identified as Arshid, son of Bashir Ahmad of Alsafa Colony and Sameer, son of Ghulam Qadir of Sofi Hamam Sopore. The identity of third militant is being ascertained.
The slain cop has been identified as Shabir Ahmad (Belt No 1653-S) of Lar area of Ganderbal district. He is survived by aged parents, wife and two children.
The firing, eyewitnesses said triggered panic in the busy market where a large number of people were shopping. The shopkeepers pulled down their shutters as the people were seen running helter skelter.
â€œI was attending customers when the gunshots sparked panic. I instantly pulled down the shutter of my shop and ran for safety,â€ Manzoor Ahmad, a trader said.
Later, additional reinforcements rushed to the spot and launched cordon and search operation. The troops and police allegedly went berserk after the shootout.
The alleged harassment by the forces sparked off pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations in the area. Chanting pro-freedom and anti-India, anti-police slogans, the protesters clashed with the forces.
Forces burst tear smoke shells after they failed to disperse the protesters with cane charge. The ding-dong battles also hit the smooth flow of traffic on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.
Pertinently, todayâ€™s attack comes a year after unidentified militants shot dead two policemen in a similar attack in the area on November 1, 2009.
A police spokesman in a handout issued this afternoon said that a police party had established a Naka at Qamarwari Chowk. In the meantime, the spokesman said three motor- cycle borne militants opened fire on the Police party.
â€œIn the retaliatory fire, three militants were killed, while one Police constable also laid down his life.â€ the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, soon after the attack, police sounded an alert as surprise checking was carried in many entry points in the capital city.