Cops killed by militants were carrying non-lethal arms: J&K govt



Jammu: The two Indian Reserve Police personnel, who were killed by militants in Handwara town of north Kashmir on March 2, were carrying non-lethal arms at the time of the attack.

Replying to an adjournment motion moved in the Assembly, Minister of State for Home Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo said the two policemen -- Azad Chand and Santosh Singh -- were part of the law and order platoon of IRP.

"A law and order platoon of Indian Reserve Police of 16th Battalion with non-lethal equipment was deployed near Bus Stand Handwara which is a very crowded place," he said.

The statement by the minister comes amid accusations by opposition Panthers Party and BJP members, who allege that the disarming of police force in militancy-infested areas was leading to such killings.

He further said the militants mixed up with the civilians and by taking advantage of heavy vehicular traffic and rush of passengers, managed to escape from the spot.

The area was immediately cordoned off and search operation was launched. The Nakas on all the outgoing routes were immediately activated but the culprits could not be traced so far, he said.

He informed the Assembly that bodies of both the jawans were shifted to District Hospital Handwara for medico-legal formalities, after which they were handed over to their family members for last rites.

Lashing at the Omar Government, JKNPP MLA Harsh Dev Singh said that the police force has been disarmed in militancy-prone areas, resulting to killing of the cops.

"Government is responsible for killing of these cops. They are to be blamed," he said.

BJP Legislative Party leader Ashok Khajuria said that cops have been made as sitting ducks for the target practice of militants.

PTI