In saving his father from a beating, son loses his life to forces’ shooting

“We rushed him to district hospital Anantnag but it was too late,” he said. Locals said that the government forces for the past several days have been harassing people in Akhran, Nowpora on one pretext or the other.

KHALID GUL
Kulgam, Publish Date: Jun 19 2018 10:52PM | Updated Date: Jun 20 2018 2:10AM
In saving his father from a beating, son loses his life to forces’ shootingPhoto: Mir Waseem/GK

When he heard of his father getting a beating from the government forces, the 27-year-old Ajaz Ahmad Bhat and his young family were returning home from his in-laws’ place, located a little distance away. He left his wife and young kids behind on the road and ran towards the spot where the forces were assaulting a group of people, among whom was his father Bashir Ahmad.

According to eyewitnesses there, Ajaz was shot in the chest from a close range and a bullet went through the chest of Ajaz and he fell down. “He is a shopkeeper by profession and was returning home along with his wife and kids from his in-laws house located nearby when someone told him that the government forces have caught hold of several people including his father Bashir Ahmad and they are being beaten up,” said Muzafar Ahmad, one of the witnesses.

“We rushed him to district hospital Anantnag but it was too late,” he said. Locals said that the government forces for the past several days have been harassing people in Akhran, Nowpora on one pretext or the other.

“The government forces have been snatching cell phones and Aadhar cards from the people, beating them up and then summoning them to their camps,” said one Muhamad Shafi. Shafi said on the fateful day the government forces had visited the village twice, first in the morning and then in the afternoon, and taken away cell phones of many people.

“In the evening they appeared again, snatched the cell phones of residents and started beating them without any provocation. They also ransacked several houses. This infuriated few youth who in protest pelted few stones on their vehicles.  However, the government forces within no time directly fired towards the people and Bhat and other native Rayees received bullet injuries in the process,” he said.

“ It is a cold blooded murder” Aakhran-Nowpora is the constituency of the People’s Democratic Party senior leader and party vice president Sartaj Ahmad Madni who is also the maternal uncle of the outgoing chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.

Speaking to Greater Kashmir barely an hour before the BJP pulled out of The alliance with BJP- Madni termed the firing on civilians in his native village as unprovoked and demanded an FIR against the forces.

“There was no justification whatsoever in firing on unarmed people. Even if few people have pelted stones on them they could have easily arrested him. It was not a mob of thousand or hundred people where firing was a last resort for them. Furthermore,  stones cannot be answered with bullets. The army needs to show restraint,”  Madni said.

He said that he has spoken to director general of police and inspector general of police and has sought an FIR against army for killing one person and injuring other “I told them that these kind of incidents aggravate the situation further and create mistrust among people,” Madni said.

In villages next to Akhran, people blamed the forces for beatings, harassment and gate-crashing into homes. adjoining Kelam Gund and Ashmuji Bhan villagers.

“On second day of Eid in the evening government forces went berserk and broke into our houses resorting to ransacking and beating up everybody including old women and children,” said a resident of Ashmuji Bhan. 

The government forces have maintained that it had to fire in self defence after their area domination party came under heavy stone pelting from a crowd of protestors.

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