Jammu and Kashmir: Police deny civilian killed in firing by security forces

Asked how clippings of the boy getting rescued by the police went viral when there was no public movement at the time of the incident, he said the police rescued the boy found near his grandfather’s body.
Bashir Ahmad Khan JK
Bashir Ahmad Khan JK

Srinagar, July 1 : In the wake of allegations surrounding the death of a civilian in Sopore on Wednesday, the Jammu and Kashmir Police denied that he was killed in firing by the security forces.

Detailing the sequence of events to the media here, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said two LeT militants fired at the CRPF ”naka” party from a mosque at Model Town in Sopore, in which a CRPF Head Constable and the civilian were killed. The security forces didn’t fire a single shot during the incident, he claimed.

“When CRPF men were deboarding from the vehicle to be part of the joint ”naka” party at Model Town, two militants hiding in the mosque started firing. One CRPF trooper was killed and three others injured. A civilian, hit by bullets, died later,” he said.

The attack was carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants — Usman Bhai, a foreigner, and Adil, a local, he added.

“There was no retaliation from the security forces. Militants left behind one full magazine and another one from which 30 bullets had been used at the mosque,” the IGP said while denying the accusations of slain civilian Bashir Ahmed Khan’s family that he was shot dead by security forces after being pulled out of his vehicle.

The IGP said the minor boy, accompanying the civilian, was rescued. A picture of the three-year-old Ayed sitting on the body of his grandfather were doing the rounds on the social media.

“We have observed wherever there is civilian movement, militants are carrying out attacks to trigger law and order issues and disturbances. We didn”t deliberately close the Internet services in Sopore just to see how people behaved.

“The video message circulated on the social media by the son and daughter of the slain man is baseless. They have levelled allegations under militant threats,” Kumar said.

“I want to ask whether they were present at the spot? Did they themselves see who had fired? They circulated video messages blaming the forces for killing their father from Srinagar, which is baseless.”

He said if there was any eyewitness to the killing, they should come forward and the police would act accordingly. “The search in the area is on to arrest the attackers. We have not called off the search operation,” the IGP said.

The son of the slain man had said, “They had left home at 6 a.m. for Sopore. Firing started there. The CRPF opened fire in which he died.” “They kept the boy on his body. They killed my father, who was a labourer. We don”t know why he was killed,” said his daughter.

Asked how clippings of the boy getting rescued by the police went viral when there was no public movement at the time of the incident, he said the police rescued the boy found near his grandfather’s body.

In one of the clippings, the boy is seen moving towards a trooper who had taken position. “The priority for us was to evacuate the toddler from the encounter spot,” said one policeman who moved the boy away.

“Going to the operation area with mobiles is wrong. I will ensure the police teams going for the operation don”t carry mobile phones as that may pose threat to their own lives.

“In 2018, many security forces personnel got killed while using mobiles during duty hours, in stand-off attacks,” he said.

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