‘Our sons were innocent, killed in cold-blood’

KHALID GUL

Shopian/Kulgam, Sep 8: The family members of youth killed in yesterday’s CRPF firing in Shopian Sunday said their sons had “nothing to do with militancy and were killed in cold-blood.”
Touseef Ahmad Bhat (17) of Baba Mohallah Shopian, Muhamad Yousuf Sofi (25) of Durpora Zainapora and Tariq Ahmad Mir of Wukai village of Kulgam district and another youth (still unidentified) were shot dead by CRPF on Saturday in Gagran area of Shopian. 
 “My son was innocent. He had no militant links. I can vouch for that,” said Gul Muhammad Bhat, father of Tauseef Ahmad.
Ahmad was booked on charges of stone-pelting and detained under the Public Safety Act in 2010 when he was studying in 9th standard.
“He was lodged in Kathua jail for four months after which he was released. Since then he never indulged in stone-pelting and was running a small grocery shop near our house,” Bhat said. “I was planning to set up another shop for him in the main market.”
He said he spent a lot of money to get his son out of jail. “If only I could bring him back by spending money this time, I would spend every penny I have,” Bhat said, amid tears and sobs.
He said of late his son had been persisting to join college afresh,
“I did not pay heed to him but I thought he will be better at business. This will haunt me for the rest of my life now,” Bhat said.
Touseef was on way to Shopian Degree College to drop his friend, Adil Rehman Wachkoo on his motorbike at an examination centre there when CRPF shot multiple bullets at him on the way. He succumbed to his injuries after police shifted him to a hospital.
Adil was also shot in his abdomen but survived and is undergoing treatment at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.
Another slain youth Muhammad Yousuf, 25, of Durpora village in Zainapora area of Shopian district was married for just two months. He would make his livelihood by selling wooden fruit boxes.
Yousuf, according to his neighbours, was the only source of income for his family, including his elderly parents.
On Saturday, Yousuf left home early in the morning to purchase cardboard apple boxes, his family members said.
“He called us and said that he was on way to Shopian in connection with his small time business but when we heard about the firing incident we called him immediately but his phone was switched off,” said a family member.
Another civilian Tariq Ahmad Mir, 24, of Wukai village of Kulgam district—a small time walnut businessman—left his home for Mattijan village in Gagran on Saturday in connection with his business.
 “Tariq’s in-laws, who live in Mattijan called him to collect the consignment of walnuts from a dealer,” said his uncle, Ghulam Nabi.
Mir was married for only one year and had made very little money through purchase and sale of walnuts, the only source of income for his family of six, including his aged parents and an unmarried sister.
“His family was worried when he did not return in the evening yesterday and started looking for him,” said Ghulam Nabi. “It was around 10 PM when we were informed about his killing.”
The slain youth is survived by his old parents, wife and two-month-old baby. He was shot at by the CRPF and died on the way to a hospital. Yousuf’s widow is in a state of shock and doesn’t talk to anybody.
Though police claimed that two of the deceased were “anti-national elements” and CRPF dubbed all the five including an injured youth as militants, locals contest the claim saying all of them are civilians.
The identity of the fourth youth is yet to be ascertained. Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir), Vijay Kumar, refused to comment over the identity of the fourth slain person. Superintendent of Police, Shopian, Mumtaz Ahmad, too kept mum on the issue.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 8 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST




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