A civilian and a paramilitary CRPF man were killed while a three-year-old child survived an attack in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday.
The attack took place near the Model Town area of Sopore at around 7:30 am when the contingents of 179 Batallion were passing by the area.
The CRPF men were deboarding their vehicle and readying for check point duty in the area.
In the attack, a CRPF head constable Dipchand Verma and a civilian Bashir Ahmad Khan, 65, were killed while three other CRPF men Bhoya Rajesh, Deepak Patil, and Nilesh Chawde sustained injuries.
The three injured CRPF personnel were taken to a hospital for treatment. Following the attack, the area was cordoned off to nab the attackers.
However, no arrests were made in this regard.
Khan's three-year-old grandson, Ayaad, survived the attack and the heart wrenching pictures, showing the child being rescued from the spot and a shrieking video went viral on social media in Kashmir.
In one of the picture, the child is seen sitting on the body of his grandfather, a look at which sends shivers down the spine.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the CRPF men were de-boarding the vehicle when gunfire came from inside a Masjid.
“Khan tried to escape toward safety along with the child, but he was hit by a bullet and was killed," Kumar said addressing a news conference here.
About the capturing of pictures during the operations by the forces, IGP Kashmir said the matter would be discussed in the upcoming security meeting.
"In fact, we are planning not to allow mobile phones at encounter sites. It causes distraction and poses danger to life. Taking mobile phones to operation site is totally wrong. I will put a stop to it," Kumar said.
Khan, who was accompanied by his grandson, was driving toward Kupwara for some work.
However, his family alleged that the forces "pulled him out" of his car and shot at him.
"He was taken out of his car and shot dead," Khan's daughter is seen saying in the video while wailing at the family’s Srinagar residence.
Khan's son also made similar allegations.
But IGP Kumar termed the family's allegation as “baseless” and said the video was recorded under pressure of militants.
"The child was rescued amid firing," Kumar said.
He said it was second incident of similar kind where militants misused a Masjid during the past one month.
Earlier, two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants entered into a Masjid during a gunfight in Pampore area of south Kashmir and were killed by the forces.
IGP Kashmir said a Pakistani militant identified as Usman Bhai and local militant Nasir, both affiliated with LeT, were behind the Wednesday's Sopore attack.
"When Police party entered into the Masjid, they recovered two magazines while the militants had escaped," Kumar said and appealed the Masjid committees not to let militants enter into religious places.
He said the militants were deliberately targeting the forces at places with public movement.
On June 26, a CRPF constable and a five-year-old boy were killed in a militant attack in south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area.
“Militants are doing this deliberately to cause misconception and law and order problem. There is a possibility of more such attacks," Kumar said.
About Khan family’s claim, IGP Kumar said the deceased's son was not present at the site of the incident.
"I ask them if they were present at the site of the incident. If any civilian has seen CRPF's involvement, we will take action," Kumar told reporters.