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|March 24, 1999||
Policeman killed in militant attack on DIG's motorcade
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
One policeman was killed and Deputy Inspector General of Police (Baramullah range) Dr S P Vaid and three of his guards were injured when terrorists ambushed their motorcade at Puthu-Khah on the Srinagar-Uri national highway late last night.
This is the first time the terrorists, who have intensified attacks on the Jammu and Kashmir police, have targeted such a high-ranking officer.
Of late, the terrorists have killed several policemen and even overrun the police lines in Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's constituency.
Police said a group of heavily armed militants ambushed Dr Vaid's motorcade. The officer was returning to Baramullah after a review meeting at Srinagar.
The terrorists hurled hand-grenades and rained bullets from automatic weapons on the DIG's bulletproof vehicle, killing a Central Reserve Police Force constable on the spot. The car was extensively damaged, resulting in injuries to Dr Vaid, who is also acting police chief, Kashmir range. IGP (Kashmir) P S Gill is on leave.
One bulletproof escort vehicle caught fire and was gutted.
The DIG's escort returned the fire and engaged the militants in an encounter while messages were flashed on the wireless for reinforcements.
But by the time troops reached the area, the militants escaped under cover of darkness.
The DIG and his guards were rushed to hospital by the troops. This morning, Dr Vaid was brought to Srinagar for specialised treatment.
Police said one bullet narrowly missed Vaid's head while another pierced his hand. The condition of two of his guards is stated to be critical.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for what police say was "a well-planned attack".
Security forces sealed the area this morning and began identification parades of residents. The Srinagar-Uri highway is highly 'sanitised' and guarded round the clock.
In separate incidents last night, militants fired on the police station at Kangan and the district police lines, Ganderbal, which was recently run over by them. None was hurt.
In another incident, a group of terrorists forced entry into the traffic police check-post at Qazigund on the Srinagar-Jammu highway yesterday and abducted two policemen. Two other policemen jumped out a window and escaped.
The militants later took the two policemen to a nearby village along with their wireless set and thrashed them. They asked the cops to allow two-way traffic on the highway and not harass drivers. They were then let off.
A Border Security Force platoon was later sent to the place.
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