Terrorists using mosques to target forces in Kashmir is ‘reprehensible’: Spl DG CRPF

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July 18 Shopian encounter: Army completes summary of evidence
(File/Representational Image)

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): Security forces doesn’t search or touch religious places while conducting anti-militancy operations and the use of mosques by terrorists to target the forces is highly reprehensible and shouldn’t be allowed by the mosque committees, Jammu and Kashmir’s Special Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Zulfikar Hassan today said

While attending a wreath laying ceremony of a CRPF man, who was killed yesterday, at Sopore shootout in which a civilian was also killed, the special DG CRPF said that the terrorists had taken position from inside the mosque and were waiting for the CRPF team to arrive.

The wreath laying was organized by the CRPF at RTC Humhama where police, CRPF and Army officials were present.

“I find the use of mosques by militants to target forces as highly reprehensible. We don’t enter or search religious places keeping in view their sanctity,” Hassan said. He said that mosque committees across Kashmir must ensure that mosques are hijacked by the terrorists.

He further added that, “The civilian got killed in the firing from the mosque. We are technically clear that the bullet was fired from the mosque that hit the civilian in his back. I have personally visited the spot, met people and checked the camera. It is beyond doubt that the civilian was killed by terrorist fire,” he said.

He said the boy accompanying his grandfather was extremely scared. “He was rescued by the CRPF man from the spot,” Hassan said.

The special DG CRPF said that use of mosques by terrorists seems to be a new dimension in Kashmir. “In the anti-militancy operations, security forces conduct searches in villages, forests, houses but never inside mosques. Security forces have great respect for the religious places. Even before the attack at Sopore, we have conducted searches in nearby areas but we didn’t search the mosque there,” the Special DG CRPF said.

He said it is the second attempt after Khrew, Pampore in Pulwama district, where two terrorists took refuge in a mosque.

He has urged the mosque heads and management bodies across Kashmir to ensure that terrorists aren’t allowed to enter mosques to hide and then target forces. “They have to play a role here and ensure that the religious places aren’t allowed to be used for terrorist activities,” DGP said.