Police team was led into a well-planned trap

first_imgA six-member police team, headed by a Station House Officer (SHO), was led into “a well-executed and well-planned” trap on the road connecting Anantnag with Achabal in south Kashmir on Friday, resulting in the deaths of all on board the solitary vehicle in an ambush by militants.The team had been busy all day dealing with the deteriorating law and order situation in Anantnag town, sparked by the Arwani encounter where three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were trapped in nearby area. Sources said the trap was laid by LeT commander Bashir Lashkari, whose close aide and friend since 2015, Junaid Mattoo, 24, was trapped and living his last moments at the Arwani encounter site since Friday morning.“It was a revenge attack,” said Director General of Police S.P. Vaid.The police are investigating multiple dimensions of the attack, which lead to higher casualties for the police force, including costing the life of sub-inspector Feroz Dar.The militants, the police believe, knew SHO Dar and his team were travelling in a vehicle that was not bullet-proofed, and a well-guarded Rakshak vehicle. The police department had failed to provide a Rakshak to the Achabal Police Station.As the stone-pelting subsided, the team decided to travel back to the police station. “We are investigating to find out who passed on information [to the militants] about the movement of the vehicle at such a short notice,” said the officer.In fact, there was a mild stone-pelting on the vehicle near Thajiwar, which was otherwise peaceful. “The stone-pelting was intended to halt the vehicle. Indeed, the policemen got down to chase the stone-throwers. To their surprise, they faced a volley of bullets from all sides. It was premeditated and planned,” said the police officer. Sources said the nearby houses on the roadside were vacated by their inhabitants in advance, indicating a large group of militants must have converged and alarmed them. Militants, believed to number between six to 10, were part of the attack.Weapons lootedFive AK-47s, 18 magazines and one pellet shotgun were taken away from the dying policemen, said the police official. “We are going to track the killers,” said the DGP.Referring to the attack, LeT chief Mahmood Shah said, “The plots put up by [National Security Adviser] Ajit Doval are biting the dust. The time is near when the whole Kashmiri nation will celebrate its freedom.”last_img

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