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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cricket cover for bloodshed

THE TELEGRAPH
 

I WONDER : THOUGH NO DIRECT RELATION BUT STILL DO WE ALL REMEMBER THE REACTIONS/COMMENTS BY MANY WHEN INDIAN SERVICES TEAM WITHDREW FROM RANJI CRICKET MATCH IN SRINAGAR.

Militants armed with pistols shot dead four paramilitary constables in a Kashmir town today and snatched two rifles before escaping as the bloodied state staggered towards the New Year under a fresh surge in violence.

One of the constables killed was from Purulia in Bengal, CRPF sources said, adding that other jawans in the group couldn’t fire back as children were playing cricket.

The afternoon attack in Sopore, 54km from Srinagar, came even as Valley police claimed a drop in militancy-related incidents to less than 500 this year, the lowest in 20 years.

Sopore additional police chief Abdul Waheed said three constables died on the spot while another succumbed to injuries later. Another jawan is in hospital.

Earlier, CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi said the constables of the 177 Battalion were on a road-opening operation when they came under attack in Warpora on the Sopore-Bandipora road.

“Three jawans were taken to an army hospital but were declared brought dead. The fourth has been shifted to 92 Base hospital in Srinagar and he, too, is critical.”

According to the spokesman, there were six CRPF men in all at the spot, in groups of two. “Two groups were attacked but the third could not fire at the militants since children were playing cricket,” Tripathi said. “Two AK assault rifles of the dead jawans are missing.”

Police sources said the militants snatched the rifles. “The militants were armed with pistols and opened fire at the four jawans from point-blank range,” an official said.

Official sources identified the dead as head constables A.K. Upadai and E.P. Prabakar and constables S.S. Dass and Kuldeep Singh. Dass is from Bengal. The injured constable’s name is Krishna Kanhaiya. 

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