Civilian was killed by militant fire: CRPF

Funeral prayers of a civilian killed in Sopore shootout being held at Mustafabad, Srinagar on Wednesday, 01 July, 2020. Mubashir Khan/GK

Special Director General, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Zulfikar Hassan Thursday said that the elderly Srinagar man Bashir Ahmad Khan was killed in militant firing in Sopore on Wednesday morning.

“The man got killed in the firing  by the militants from the mosque,” Zulfikar told reporters on sidelines of wreath laying ceremony held at Humhama Budgam for CRPF personnel killed in the Sopore attack.

The ceremony was attended by IGP Kashmir and other senior officers of CRPF and police.

“We are technically clear that the bullet was fired from the mosque that hit the civilian in his back. I have personally visited the spot, met people and checked the camera. It is beyond doubt that the civilian was killed by militant fire,” he said.

He said that some people have tried to “give it a spin” that CRPF took him out of the vehicle and shot him. “This is totally untrue. I say this with full responsibility after talking to everyone and after examining a lot of technical details including cameras.”

The senior paramilitary officer said that they are very confident of what has happened and “I would request people who are spreading this canard that they should blame the militants who were hiding inside the mosque and did not care about whether a child or an elderly person was there”.

Zulfikar said that he finds the “use of mosques by militants to target forces” as highly reprehensible. “We don’t enter or search religious places keeping in view their sanctity,” he said adding that mosque committees across Kashmir must ensure that mosques are not allowed to be “hijacked by the militants”.

He said it (Sopore) is the second attempt after Khrew, Pampore in Pulwama district, where two militants took refuge in a mosque.

Regarding the security of the Amarnath Yatra, the Special DGP said that all the security forces are ready and are working in perfect synergy and are still waiting for the details of the Yatra. “Whenever details will come, we will prepare for the Yatra and will make all arrangements,” he said.