Suspected terrorists killed an on-duty Special Police Officer (SPO) Basit Iqbal and critically injured his colleague in a remote village in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar area on Monday before fleeing with their service guns, as per police. A senior police officer claimed the SPOs were attacked with axes while on patrol in the high-altitude Tander village of Dachhan at 1.30 p.m.
While SPO Basit Iqbal killed as a result of his injuries, SPO Vishal Singh is struggling for his life and his condition is termed as 'severe.'
The injured SPO has been airlifted to Jammu for specialized treatment.
Ashiq Hussain, a rape accused who was out on parole from central jail Kishtwar about 20 days ago, and Basharat Hussain were identified as two of the attackers.
Both are locals, the official said, adding that they are thought to have joined the terrorist ranks and carried out the attack to obtain the weapons.
He stated that it is being investigated whether or not they were assisted by any active terrorist in carrying out the attack. According to the official, the military and hence the police have initiated a massive combined hunt to find the attackers and retrieve the stolen weapons.
He stated that Mukesh Singh, a military official of the Jammu Zone, and Abdul Jabbar, the DIG of the Doda-Kishtwar-Ramban area, have gone to Kishtwar to monitor the operation.
This was the year's first terror assault in the Kishtwar district. Since November 2018, when it had its first terror strike in almost a decade, Kishtwar has been rocked by a succession of terrorist attacks.
On September 28, last year, security forces made a significant breakthrough against Kishtwar-based terrorists when they killed three ultras, including favorite Osama Bin Javed, in Ramban while fleeing an offensive that saw dozens of Hizbul Mujahideen members and overground workers arrested and a number of their hideouts busted.
Anil Parihar, a senior BJP leader, and his brother Ajit Parihar were assassinated outside their home in Kishtwar town on All Saints' Day, 2018, followed by the assassination of RSS functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his SO inside the district hospital on April 9, 2019. Last year, the ultras struck twice more and fled with the service guns of two police officers.