Terrorist kills two cops, flees Srinagar hospital
New Delhi: A jailed Pakistani terrorist shot his way out of a hospital in Srinagar on Tuesday, killing two of his police escorts as he made his escape, the state’s top police officer said.
The incident occurred just two days after four Indian Army soldiers were killed in Pakistani shelling along the Line of Control (LoC).
Pakistani Naveed Jutt, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, was in police custody and had been brought to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital along with five other terrorists for a routine check-up.
Shots rang out inside the hospital soon after and Jutt escaped.
While Jammu and Kashmir police have launched a probe into the incident, the police have identified several loopholes in the narrative. It was, for instance, unclear whether Jutt was assisted by accomplices in his escape. A manhunt has been launched to recapture Jutt.
“Our first priority is to capture him. There are usually three constables with Pakistani prisoners—one gunman, one with the handcuffs and one for vigil. In this case, we need to investigate why the third constable did not react or fire back at Jutt. Second, even though jails don’t come under our jurisdiction, we need to find out how Jutt got the weapon and whether it was already given to him in jail,” inspector general of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Muneer Khan, told Mint.
Khan added that the CCTV footage was being examined to ascertain exactly what transpired.
The state police named the victims as head constable Mushtaq Ahmad, who died on the spot, and constable Babar Ahmad, who succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.
Twenty-two-year-old Naveed —who also goes by the name Abu Hanzullah—was arrested in 2014. Intelligence units in Kashmir stated that he had been sent to the valley to eventually take control of LeT.
Jutt, who was caught in Anantnag, Kashmir, was initially lodged in Kathua jail.
“After Jutt was captured, the Jammu and Kashmir high court ordered for him to be shifted from Kathua to Srinagar and so he was brought here upon the orders of the home department. We now need to take stock of how many Pakistani prisoners are here,” Muneer Khan added.
Jutt’s escape, an intelligence official said, could have been prevented.
“Most fidayeen (suicide) attacks are planned in Kashmir, even though the militants are behind bars. So it was decided in December (2017) to shift six of them, including Jutt, to a prison facility in Jammu. But the sessions court put a stay order on it,” said a senior intelligence official, who did not wish to be identified.