SRINAGAR: Suspected militants yesterday killed two policemen guarding the home of a pro-India politician in Indian Kashmir in the first such attack in the restive region since national elections got under way, police said.
Two rebels sprayed bullets towards the home of a National Conference politician who was inside meeting party workers in the town of Khrew, 25km south of the main city of Srinagar, an officer and a party official said.
“The two policemen died before reaching hospital,” the officer at the scene said on condition of anonymity.
The attack sparked a gunbattle with government forces on patrol in the area that left both of the militants dead, the officer said.
Yawar Masoodi, a youth leader of the National Conference which rules at state level in the disputed Muslim-majority Himalayan region, and the party workers were unharmed.
The militants fled into nearby mustard fields after snatching the police officers’ weapons. Government forces chased them, sparking the gunbattle as reinforcements from a nearby army camp also moved in, the officer said.
“Both the attackers were later neutralised and the snatched weapons also recovered,” Inspector General Nalin Prabhat from the federal Central Reserve Police Force said.
At the time, Masoodi was in a “closed door meeting” with party workers discussing election campaign plans, said National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu.