In militancy-hit Kashmir, the Eid al-Adha celebrations were marred by violent incidents in which militants killed three policemen on Wednesday in two districts — Kulgam and Pulwama.
The first incident took place when Fayaz Ahmad Shah, an under training police constable, was shot when he was returning home after offering Eid prayers in Kulgam, one of the worst militancy-hit districts of South Kashmir.
Shah, 34, was working with the Jammu and Kashmir Police as a special police officer and had been given an out-of-turn promotion and selected as a constable. He was undergoing training at Talwara in Jammu region and had come home.
Militants pumped bullets at Shah from a close range near his house. He died on the spot.
A pall of gloom descended on the policeman's native Zazripora village when the news of his death broke out.
The Eid festivities turned into mourning at Shah's residence with his two minor daughters, aged five and two, unable to understand the sudden rush of people to their residence and the frequent breakdown of their mother and aged grandmother.
The family was inconsolable when his body wrapped in tricolour was brought to their residence.
A wreath laying ceremony was held at district police lines Kulgam where officers led by Senior Superintendent of Police Harmeet Singh paid floral tributes to the police official.
Director General of Police SP Vaid termed the incident a "dastardly act". "It only shows the frustration of terrorists (militants) who are resorting to such a cowardly act of attacking an unarmed policeman," he said.
Another special police officer identified as Mohammad Yaqoob Shah was shot at in Pulwama district. He was declared brought dead at the hospital.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani led the police team to pay tributes to Shah at district police lines in Pulwama, another worst militancy-hit district.
On Wednessday night, militants also shot dead inspector Mohammad Asharf Dar at his residence in Pulwama, ANI reported.
In another incident, body of a BJP worker identified as Shabir Ahmad Bhat was found in north Kashmir's Kupwara district. He was reportedly kidnapped by suspected militants on Tuesday night.
His bullet-riddled body was found in the fields at Rakh-e-Litter area of Kupwara, a police official told PTI.
The incident evoked sharp reaction from BJP president Amit Shah who said extremists cannot stop the Valley's youths from choosing a better future and that the cycle of violence will not last long.
Anguished to learn about the killing of BJP karyakarta, Shabir Ahmad Bhat by terrorists in Pulwama (J&K). This act of cowardice is highly condemnable. Extremists cannot stop the youth of Kashmir from choosing a better future for themselves. This cycle of violence won't last long. pic.twitter.com/hAOb4ptPeo
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 22, 2018
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Aug 22, 2018 22:09 PM