Srinagar: A civilian was killed near a security forces’ camp in Shopian district of southern Kashmir on Sunday morning. The slain was identified as Shahid Ajaz, a local apple seller.
Shahid was shot at near a security forces' camp in Babpora area of Shopian. Pictures surfacing on social media purportedly showed his body lying next to a vehicle.
Police said that Shahid was killed “in crossfire between security forces and militants”. However, locals contested the claim and alleged that Shahid was shot at after an altercation with security forces.
“Around 1030 hrs unidentified terrorists attacked a Naka party of 178 Bn, CRPF at Babapora, Shopian. CRPF retaliated the fire and during cross firing one unidentified person got killed. Further details are being ascertained. @JmuKmrPolice@KashmirPolice@DigSkr,” Shopian police tweeted after the shooting incident.
Initially, CRPF claimed that they “opened fire after there was an attempt of snatching weapons”. Other reports suggested that the CRPF “opened fire on suspicion”.
“He was stopped at naka and there was some altercation between the apple seller and CRPF personnel,” local residents said, alleging that CRPF personnel shot him dead on the spot.
Sources said a pall of gloom descended on his family when the news of his killing reached the village in Anantnag. Some grieving relatives said the youth, who was in Class 12, worked as a labourer to help his family. They said he was supporting his father, mother and three siblings.
Police said that the body was handed over to family on Sunday evening. “We handed over the body to family for burial,” a senior police official said here.
Pertinently, this is the second such civilian killing this month near a naka of CRPF in South Kashmir. A fortnight ago, Parvez Ahmad, a nomad was killed in Anantnag after CRPF personnel opened fire on a vehicle he was travelling in. Police had said that the CRPF had fired in "self-defence".
Police in a statement said: “Today, at about 1030hrs Shopian Police received information about an attack by terrorists upon an area domination patrol party (ADP), of 178Bn CRPF at Babapora Shopian and killing of an unidentified person during the retaliation/cross firing by the CRPF party.”
“Preliminary investigation including statements of eye-witnesses revealed that terrorists fired upon the ADP party of CRPF which was retaliated by the ADP party. During the cross firing, service rifle (AK-47) of one of a ADP personnel, who was at the rear end was snatched by one of the associate of terrorists. He was challenged and ordered to stop. However, he kept running towards the direction from where ADP party was being fired and in the meanwhile he received bullet injuries in the cross firing. One personnel of the ADP party also received injuries,” the statement said.
“In this connection, a case vide FIR No.130/2021 under relevant sections of law stands registered in Police Station Zainapora and investigation has been initiated,” it added.