Force Magazine

 Return of the Siege
 Series of attacks take security forces by surprise

ADGP and IGP Kashmir carrying the martyred CRPF manThree years of quiet was broken when militants struck the summer capital. Six strikes in past three weeks are a warning of militancy rearing its ugly head once again.

It was in early March that militants shot dead two policemen, constables Santosh Kumar and Azad Chand of Indian Reserve Police (IRP), at point blank range in Handwara town of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Soon after, they abducted and later killed Bashir Ahmad Gania, a former militant turned counter-insurgent in Tangmarg area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The major strike, however, was on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on March 13 in Bemina area of Srinagar. The last time militants struck in Srinagar was three years ago when they targeted city centre Lal Chowk.

This time, five CRPF men were killed and 10 others including four civilians were injured in the attack. However, both the militants were shot dead by security forces before they could flee. Militants disguised as cricketers and mingled with the local boys who were playing cricket in a school playground and later shot at the men.

Even before this incident could be forgotten, on March 19, militants shot dead 22-year-old Suhail Ahmad Sofi in Sopore area of North Kashmir for his alleged links with security agencies. This was followed by an attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) convoy in Chanpora area of Srinagar Bypass, in which a BSF jawan was killed and two others injured. In another incident on March 24, a civilian was killed and a constable of IRP, Kishore Kumar, was injured in an attack in Sopore town.
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