The J&K police on Friday constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the assassination of television analyst and lawyer Babar Qadri, 39, who was killed by two pistol wielding men posing as clients. Meanwhile, two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an Anantnag operation of the security forces.
“A Special Investigation Team has been constituted to probe the incident. It will be headed by the Superintendent of Police, Hazratbal,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said.
He said two masked men entered Qadri’s residence at Hawal, Srinagar, around 6.20 p.m. on Thursday, “as clients with files in their hands”.
“They told Qadri that they had to discuss some accident related case and later fired upon him. Qadri sustained four bullet wounds on his head,” IGP Kumar said.
He said the militants also fired a few bullets in the air. “The police had forewarned Qadri and asked him not to live in the old city’s Hawal area but he refused [to heed the warning],” he added.
The SIT has been directed to immediately identify the militants and their affiliations. The police are also collecting CCTV footage in the area.
On the recent killing of a Block Development Chairman in Budgam, IGP Kumar said, “Militants probably knew about his movement. Two Personal Security Officers have been suspended. Names of two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants have come to the fore.”
The Hurriyat, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, expressed shock over the killing of Qadri. “As the conflict lingers, another precious life falls prey to it. A peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute is the only way to ensure that precious human lives on all sides are saved from getting consumed in it,” the spokesperson said.
2 LeT militants killed
The police on Friday said two LeT militants were killed in a night-long operation in Anantnag’s Sirhama area.
“One slain militant was identified as Abu Rehan from Pakistan, who was active since March 2019. Another was Adil Bhat, an LeT commander. Adil was involved in the attack on two policemen at Nowgam on August 14. A rifle snatched during the Nowgam attack was also recovered from them,” IGP Kumar said.
The encounter in Sirhama started on Thursday afternoon when holed up militants opened fire on the security forces’ search party. The gunfight lasted over 13 hours. One house, where the militants were hiding, was blasted.
IGP Kumar said that 170 to 200 militants were still active in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, around five civilians were injured near the encounter site when unattended explosive material went off. “Two seriously wounded were shifted to a hospital in Srinagar,” the official said.