'Not convinced my son is a murderer': Father of kickboxing gold medalist arrested in Jammu ATM guard's murder

The duo, as per Patil, had recently rented an apartment in Nanak Nagar, and went to the ATM with the purpose of looting cash.

The father of one of the two Bandipora residents accused of murdering an ATM guard in Jammu said on Sunday that “no concrete evidence” had been provided to them so far which could establish the duo had executed the murder.

The ATM guard, Raju Sharma, son of Gullu Ram, a resident of New Plot area of Jammu, was found dead inside guard chamber of the bank ATM at sector 13 in Nanak Nagar at around 10 pm on Thursday.

On Friday, SSP Jammu, Shridhar Patil said at a press conference that the murder was executed by two youth whom he identified as Mohammad Kaif Lone and Waqas Bashir Lone-both residents of Bandipora.

The duo, as per Patil, had recently rented an apartment in Nanak Nagar, and went to the ATM with the purpose of looting cash.

“On being resisted by the guard, they attacked him inside the rest room (his resting chamber) by initially smothering his face with a blanket,” he said.

But, Bashir Ahmad Lone, father of Waqas, one of the accused, who happens to be an athlete and a gold medalist in kickboxing, urged Jammu police to ”investigate the case fairly and avoid making any mistakes in haste which will jeopardize the career of these youth”.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Bashir said that Waqas is currently pursuing MCA in Srinagar even as he accused Jammu police for failing to providing them “concrete evidence which could prove that he (Waqas) is indeed a murderer”.

“If any evidence proves that my son has indeed murdered the ATM guard or even touched him, I will be the first to fall at the feet of the guard’s family in Jammu to apologise to them and will publicly declare my son a murderer, ” Bashir said.

Over Waqas’s presence in Jammu, Bashir said that his son was attending his ailing uncle at a residential quarter near the ATM where the guard was found dead.

He said his brother has had a brain tumour and recently returned from Delhi’s Appollo hospital after at least three months of treatment.

“How can he go out for a murder when back in the house he is attending to a patient with cancer. Even local police is very well aware of this fact,” Bashir said.

Although there was video footage of the duo walking on the nearby street, but police have not yet shown them the footage of the inside of the ATM that could establish their crime, he alleged.

“They would pass frequently from the street as it was just outside their quarter but no clip from the inside of the ATM has been shown to us which will prove that they have committed this crime, ” he added.

While sympathizing with the deceased ATM guard’s family for the loss, Bashir however said that his son’s life and career were at stake “for somebody else’s crime”.

Bashir further alleged that police were not investigating into the driving licence he said was recovered at the crime scene.

He also urged the civil and police administration to thoroughly investigate the case to bring truth to the fore.

The desperate father said he wanted to travel to Jammu but was stuck due to the inclement weather conditions.