- Deputy CM says legislators were caught up in assembly session
- Wreath-laying ceremony was held 90 minutes before assembly met
- 8 policemen were killed by terrorists over last two days
The policemen, led by Feroz Ahmed Dar, were ambushed on Friday by heavily-armed Lashkar terrorists at Achabal in Anantnag. Bullets were sprayed at them from point-blank range to disfigure their faces.
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh defended the elected representatives. He said they were busy in the assembly.
"There was assembly today(Saturday). All the people were here. MLAs (Member of Legislative Assembly, or legislators) and minsters could not go there. But other politicians should have been there," Mr Singh said.
But the assembly session started at 11 am on Saturday -- one-an-a-half hours after the wreath-laying ceremony at District Police Lines Srinagar, just a few hundred meters away from the assembly complex. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and all her cabinet colleagues were in town.
In the assembly, they did discuss the violence. Chief Minister Mufti cited the bloodshed to make a case for dialogue.
"You can't achieve this (peace) with guns, armed forces... Dialogue is the only way forward," she said, remarks that appeared to be aimed more at the PDP's alliance partner, the BJP, which is against talks with Kashmiri separatist leaders, than the opposition parties.
SP Vaid, the state police chief said the attackers had been identified and called the ambush a "revenge attack" by Lashkar-e-Taiba after Junaid Mattoo was killed. The body of the top Lashkar terrorist, killed in an encounter, was found on Saturday
"The specific information is that it was a group of five militants headed by Bashir Lashkari," said Munir Khan, who heads the police force in the Kashmir region, adding that two foreign terrorists were part of the team that killed six policemen.