Militants attack police party in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar as Centre deliberates on extending ceasefire

A day after senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead, and an Indian Army jawan was abducted and murdered in Kashmir, militants have now attacked a police party in the state capital, Srinagar.

According to reports, a group of armed militants opened fire at a police party in Srinagar, injuring two police personnel and three civilians. The security forces' party was carrying out random vehicle checking in Kak Sarai area of the city when the incident occurred.

"During the checking of vehicles at Kak Sarai, militants opened fire on the cops, who also retaliated," a police official said. Security forces have cordoned off the area and launched a manhunt for the assailants.

More details on the attack are awaited.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Meanwhile, the development comes on a day when the central government is deliberating on whether to extend the month-long ceasefire in place during Ramzan in Kashmir. Union home minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation on Thursday and met the state authorities. Singh will also brief Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the security situation on Friday. Singh told reporters on Friday that he will make further announcements on the issue only after 17 June.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that the Centre is not likely to extend the ceasefire but it may refrain from publicly announcing the resumption of operations, BJP sources told The Indian Express.

However, officially, the Centre is yet to take a call on whether it will extend the ceasefire up till Amarnath Yatra which begins on 28 June, or let it lapse after Eid, which falls on 16 June. The move of the Centre is similar to the Non-Initiation of Combat Operations (NICO) announced by the first NDA government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, during Ramzan in 2000.

Rise in militancy during ceasefire?

Two incidents shook the Valley on Thursday. A senior journalist was gunned down outside his office, while he was leaving to attend an iftaar party, and Aurangzeb, an Indian Army sepoy was abducted and later murdered while he was proceeding for his Eid holidays. Both these incidents created outcry and furor, eliciting strong condemnation from all sections.

These aside, one army personnel was killed while two terrorists were gunned down during an ongoing operation in Bandipora's Panar area on Thursday.

However, reports suggest militants have been taking advantage of the Centre's ceasefire in the Valley.

While incidents of stone-pelting have reduced during the period of Ramzan ceasefire, recruitment of local youths by militant groups and incidents of grenade lobbying have risen alarmingly, according to a report in The New Indian Express.

According to the latest data compiled by the Centre, as many as 23 youths have been recruited by militant groups during the first 19 days of the ceasefire. The data also shows that of the total number of grenade lobbying incidents reported in the month of May, more than 80 percent took place during the ceasefire period alone.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 15, 2018 16:12:19 IST

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