2 YOUTH KILLED IN CRPF FIRING
Massive Protests Rock Sopur, Curfew Imposed
Sopur, June 25: Two youth were killed and 10 persons injured when paramilitary CRPF troopers fired upon a procession demanding bodies of two militants killed in Sopur town on Friday. The condition of two injured is stated to be critical.
As soon as the encounter ended and the troopers of 22 Rashtriya Rifles, SOG and CRPF lifted the siege, hundreds of people, mainly youth, took to streets raising pro-freedom slogans. They were demanding bodies of the two slain militants killed earlier in a gunfight with troopers at Krankshivan here.
“As soon as the gypsy of Commandant 177 battalion CRPF, returning from the encounter site, passed through the Chankhan area, the youth tried to stop the vehicle; the paramilitary troopers alighted from vehicle and resorted to indiscriminate firing,” eyewitnesses told Greater Kashmir.
“One of the youth, Shakeel Ahmad Ganai (24), of Lalad Sopur died on the spot and several others were injured.”
The angry protesters staged massive protests and then set ablaze a CRPF gypsy near Chanakhan Bridge.
The CRPF troopers opened firing on another procession at Jamia Qadeem, when they tried to proceed towards the encounter spot.
The protesters pelted stones on the CRPF troopers, after the troopers refused to allow them move forward. The CRPF troopers resorted to indiscriminate firing killing, Firdous Ahmad Kakroo of Niglee, of Sopur on spot. Thousands of people raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans participated in the funeral procession of Firdous Ahmed Kakroo at old Eidgah. The angry protesters also demolished the CRPF bunker at Iqbal market of the town.
The injured were shifted to district hospital, Sopur, wherefrom two of the critically injured—Meraj Ahmad Teli and Hilal Ahmad—were referred to Srinagar.
The other injured have been identified as Meraj-ud-din Malla, Showkat Ahmad, Manzoor Ahmed Dar and Muhammad Amir. The condition of Mehraj Ahmed Teli and Hilal Ahmed Gojri, who have been shifted to Srinagar, is stated to be critical.
Two non-locals were also injured in CRPF firing.
“The troopers simply went berserk and fired indiscriminately upon civilians. They fired directly upon the civilians. They have killed our brethren,” a visibly shocked eyewitness, accompanying one injured told Greater Kashmir at SMHS hospital, Srinagar.
The situation was tense in the town as thousands of people staged massive demonstrations till late evening in areas of Main Chowk, Batpora, Chinkipora and police station area.
Large contingent of CRPF troopers and policemen were deployed in nook and corner of town to scuttle the protests.
When contacted, PRO CRPF Prabkhar Tripathi said that troopers fired in self-defence after mob tried to snatch their rifles.
“The mob did not allow us to search the debris. As the CRPF was retreating from encounter spot, the mob attacked our gypsy and set it on fire .The troopers jumped out of vehicle and fired in self-defence when the mob tried to snatch their rifles,” he said.
Contradicting his first version, PRO CRPF told this reporter over phone that crowd fired upon CRPF troopers, when they were leaving the area this evening.
“Earlier in the day our one trooper was wounded, when bullet came from crowd who had gathered on spot. When the CRPF troopers were leaving spot, the fire came from crowd and in the cross firing two were killed” he said, while retracting from first version.
When contacted deputy commissioner, Varmul Bashir Ahmed said that they are ascertaining the cause of death.
“We have many versions about killings,” he said.
Fearing large scale protests against the killings, authorities imposed curfew in Sopur town in the evening. Sources in district administration told Greater Kashmir that curfew would continue on Saturday as well.
Deputy Commissioner Varmul, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, confirmed the continuation of curfew in Sopur and adjoining areas on Saturday.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 26 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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