SRINAGAR: Slightly more than two years after, the Lone’s in Kulgam’s Shouch village are in mourning again. Last time in 2020, they mourned the killing of their son, and now in 2022, they are mourning the killing of his father.

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Mushtaq Ahmad Lone (Left) and his son Aaqib Mushtaq. Lone was killed in a militant attack on July 12, 2022. His son, Aaqib was killed in a counter-insurgency operation on April 27, 2020.

On Tuesday evening, militants attacked a small party of policemen stationed near the Goenka School in Lal Bazar. They opened fire and left three cops injured. Immediately they were rushed to the hospital where two of them survived with injuries. They are still in the hospital. However, their senior man, an Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI), was killed. Identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, he was living in Shouch village in Kulgam.

Two others who are recovering in the hospital were identified as HC (Head Constable) Fayaz Ahmad and SPO (Special Police Officer) Abu Bakar.

This was the second killing in the Shouch family in slightly more than two years. In April, Mushtaq’s son, Aaqib Mushtaq was killed in an encounter. A trained engineer from a Chandigarh college, the family had strongly reacted to Aaqib’s alleged militancy links but the Jammu and Kashmir Police insisted that he was a militant associate.

On April 27, 2020, the counter-insurgency grid had surrounded part of Guddar village and it immediately led to an encounter. Though most of the militants had fled, they did recover a bullet-ridden body in the morning. It was identified as that of Aaqib. Police termed him a “militant associate” and the family strongly reacted to it and sought a probe. They said he had just finished his B Tech from a Punjab college.

In Srinagar, then, a police spokesman said that on April 26, 2020, a group of 4-6 militants attacked a mixed column patrolling party somewhere between Chehlan and Asthal villages. It left one army officer injured.

A day later, he said, there was another exchange of fire in which the militants reportedly fled but a dead body was recovered. It was identified as that of Aaqib. The police spokesman said as many as six SIM cards were recovered from Aaqib’s pocket. Besides, police had also claimed to have recovered two motorcycles from the “encounter site”.

In Srinagar, Additional Director General of Police, Vijay Kumar on Tuesday said that they are analyzing CCTV footage of the Srinagar attack following which the militants involved in the attack will be identified and neutralized very soon.

Kumar said militants fired upon a small naka party at Lal Bazar which was regulating traffic. “Being a small naka team militants took advantage of it and fired indiscriminately upon them, resulting in the on-spot death of an ASI and injuring two other policemen. He said that the injured cops are stable as they are being treated at the hospital.

He said that they are analysing the CCTV footage of the Srinagar attack following which the militants involved in the attack will be identified and neutralized very soon.

There are small bits of attacks viral on media. Their source is not immediately known.

Slain police officer, Mushtaq is survived by a young wife, two daughter’s and a son. His son is also an engineer. When his coffin reached his home, it was a painful site as the residents cried non-stop and the family was inconsolable. The coffin reached his home late in the night after a wreath laying event in Srinagar.

Killing of the police officer was widely mourned by the political class of Kashmir. “Deeply saddened to hear about the militant attack on @JmuKmrPolice personnel deployed in Srinagar in which ASI Mushtaq Ahmed lost his life in the line of duty & two others were injured,” Omar Abdullah tweeted. “My condolences to the family of ASI Mushtaq & prayers for the swift recovery of the injured.”

Mehbooba Mufti added: “Deeply saddened about the gruesome attack on police personnel in Lal Bazar. My condolences to ASI Mushtaq Ahmed’s family in this hour of grief & prayers for the two policemen critically injured.”


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