Indian forces killed civilian in Kashmir, family says

2nd Jul 2020
Indian forces killed civilian in Kashmir, family says

By Nusrat Sidiq

 

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India (AA): The family of a 65-year-old civilian killed in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday said he was killed in “cold blood” by government forces in the region, which the police rejected as “baseless” and “fabricated” claims. However, his three-year-old grandson told a reporter that the police has shot his grandfather.

According to the police, the deceased, identified as Bashir Ahmad Khan, 65, a resident of the Srinagar, and an Indian paramilitary personnel were killed when militants attacked the armed personnel deployed in Sopore district on early Wednesday.

In the incident, five people — including four paramilitary troops — were injured. “We lost one personnel and one civilian,” the police said.

Javaid Iqbal, a senior police officer in the region, rejected family’s allegations that the forces shot dead Khan.

He said that the civilian vehicle was caught in a shootout between militants and forces and that initial reports suggest that he got down from the vehicle along with the child to escape and got shot.

As police blamed militants for the killing, the family of the deceased civilian contested the police claim.

“He was killed before his three-year-old grandson,” the family of the deceased said, adding he was brought down from his car and then was shot by the armed forces.

Aijaz Ahmad Qudsi, the nephew of Khan, told Anadolu Agency that there was not even a small scratch on the car of his deceased uncle.

He questioned if his uncle’s car was caught in the shootout, how is it possible that not even a single bullet touched his car.

Journalist Junaid Kathju of the website The Wire managed to talk to the grandchild with the permission of his family.

When the grandchild (AB) was asked what happened to ‘papa’, which is what he calls his grandfather, AB said “goli mari” (he was shot). By whom, he replied “Police wale ne” (by the police).

“Papa (grandfather) ko goli mari policewale ne (A policeman killed grandpa),” the boy told this reporter. “Policewala ne gori mari (A policeman shot at him),”

“I enjoyed the drive (Mujhe gaadi mai mazaa aya tha….Papa died (Papa margaya)….police killed him,” AB said when asked to recall the incident.

The whole of Wednesday, a photograph of AB sitting calmly on top of the lifeless body of his grandfather, Bashir Ahmed, circulated widely on social media.

Qudsi called for an inquiry into the incident.

 

Disputed region

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965, and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire took effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Relatives mourn the death of civilian Bashir Ahmad in HMT Srinagar, Kashmir on July 01, 2020. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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