Youth killed, 4 injured in Sopore firing
Forces fire at protesters following protests over militant’s killing
A youth was shot dead while four others injured, one of them critically, after government forces resorted to ‘indiscriminate firing’ to disperse protesters at an encounter site at Krankshivan Colony in this north Kashmir area Monday. A militant was killed in the encounter while another militant gave slip to the forces in the 20-hour gunfight. Curfew was imposed in the area to contain the situation while authorities have ordered inquiry to ascertain the facts about the incident.
Arshad Ahmad Shah (28) son of Abdul Aziz of NaseemBaghSopore, a driver by profession, was shot dead after joint operation party of Army’s 22 RR, Central Reserve Police Force and Special Task Force of J&K police was leaving the encounter site where massive pro-freedom protests erupted after the gun-battle ended. Witnesses said the protesters clashed with forces who in turn retaliated with firing, resulting in killing of Arshid. “Four others were injured in the firing and shifted to Srinagar hospitals,” they said.
Arshid, according to medicos, had received a bullet in his chest and was brought dead to sub-district hospital Sopore. The injured were identified as Naseer Ahmad Beg (25) of Chankhan, AbidGujri (18) of NaseemBagh,
ShahidAhanger (28) of NaseemBagh and Illyas Ahmad Shala (25) of NaseemBagh. The condition of Illyas is stated to be critical.
As the news of Arshid’s killing spread, thousands of people took to streets and blocked main roads in Sopore. They shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Officials imposed undeclared curfew in the area. People however defied it and moved around with Arshid’s body amid pro-freedom slogans. The area witnessed massive protests till last reports came in. The people were demanding arrest of forces personnel who opened fire on the protest demonstration.
A late night report said Army opened fire on the protest rally when one of their vehicles was attacked by the protesters. Another report said the fire was opened by police after one of their ‘Rakhshak’ vehicles was attacked by the protestors.
J&K’s Director General of Police, K Rajendra Kumar however told Greater Kashmir that he has ordered an inquiry into the incident. “It is a highly unfortunate incident and we regret it. I have ordered an inquiry to ascertain the facts,” he said, adding, “The inquiry will ascertain whether police, Army or CRPF opened fire and killed the youth.”
Kumar claimed people had gathered and pelted stones on the forces who were being withdrawn after an anti-militancy operation ended in the area.
A police spokesman here claimed: “Today after the completion of an operation in Baba RazaKrankshvanSopore in which one Pakistani militant got killed, operation parties while withdrawing from the area were pelted with stones by some miscreants. The mob swelled and attempted to set at fire one security armoured vehicle. Security forces used non-lethal weapons but the situation could not be controlled. Resultantly few shots were fired in which four people got injured.”
“One of the injured Arshad Ahmad Shah son of Abdul Aziz of Seer JagirSopore succumbed to his injuries unfortunately. Other injured people have been hospitalized and are stated to be out of danger. The incident is being enquired into and a case has been registered in this regard,” the spokesman said.