Suspected militants shot dead a civilian and a police officer in separate attacks in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

The police said that militants fired at the civilian, identified as Rouf Ahmad, in Srinagar’s Merjanpora area. Ahmad sustained injuries and was taken to the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, where he was declared dead.

The police added they have a registered a case and were conducting an inquiry.

In the second attack in Anantnag district, the police said that Assistant Sub Inspector Mohammad Ashraf was critically injured in the firing by militants.

He was admitted to a Srinagar hospital for treatment but succumbed to his injuries, the police said.

The area has been cordoned off to arrest the attackers, the police said. “We stand by his family [Mohammad Ashraf’s] at this critical juncture,” the police added.

Civilian killings

In October, several civilians, including migrant workers, had been shot dead by militants in the Union Territory. The Resistance Front, which the police say is an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, had claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

On December 15, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had told the Rajya Sabha that as many as 37-40 civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir every year since 2017.

Rai had said that despite militants targeting some civilians, a large number of migrant workers continued to stay in the Kashmir Valley, but have “left as usual” with the onset of winter.

The minister had said that central government has taken several steps to ensure the safety of civilians, including setting up a security and intelligence grid.

In reply to another question asked in the Rajya Sabha on December 8, the minister had said that 96 civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which had given the special status to the former state, was revoked in August 2019.

Rai had also said that between August 5, 2019, and November 30, 366 militants were killed and 81 members of the security forces had also died in the Union Territory.