by Pallavi Sareen
JAMMU: A 25-year-old man was shot dead by the CRPF Saturday morning in cold blood. The body showed a bullet in his chest, another in the stomach and a third one on the right side of his torso, with blood oozing from his body.
“He woke up in the morning, offered his namaaz and left home and headed for the gym,” says the mother of Syed Murfad Shah, the man shot dead in former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah’s house in Bhatindi, Jammu.
At 10 am, the news came out that a man had barged through the security barricade outside Abdullah’s house. The man was shot and injured though he had been carrying no weapon and no militant involvement was suspected since there was no VVIP presence in the house at the time.
An hour later, sources revealed that he was dead, and his body was taken to Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu for post-mortem.
A black Mahindra SUV (JK02BW-0568) was discovered with just a dent on the bonnet while the gate didn’t seem to have been damaged too badly, sources revealed.
“In a serious security breach, a man forcibly drove into the residence of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and ransacked the house before being shot dead by CRPF personnel guarding the premises,” the police said.
Omar Abdullah also tweeted about the incident saying, “I am aware of the incident that took place at the residence my father & I share at Bhatindi, Jammu. Details are sketchy at the moment. Initial reports suggest an intruder was able to gain entry through front door & in to the upper lobby of the house.”
The man was identified as Syed Murfad Shah whose father runs a gun-shop in Bantalab. He was a resident of Ghaluta in Mendhar area of Poonch district of the state.
Around 12 noon, the slain man’s sister Shafiqa was found pounding on the gates, crying and shouting. She constantly raised her voice saying: “Why did you shoot him? Mujhe bhi goli maar do.” A crowd had gathered there, of locals and media persons. The gate was shut and soon the sister went away on a scootie.
The whole case is surrounded by rumors and different narratives.
Witnesses say that Shah rammed his car against the iron gate and continued to drive within the compound till he reached the house. It is also being alleged that he ransacked the glass table and pictures inside the lobby before moving towards the bedroom, at which point the CRPF got into action and gunned him down after a scuffle wherein he tried snatching the weapon.
But another narrative weaves a different story. As mentioned by the relatives, Shah left home to head to Oasis gym in Parade. He was called to the place by the CRPF officer regarding some gun-licensing issue. They had a scuffle following which he was shot and then dragged inside the house to concoct the story of an intruder.
At the hospital, the family of Shah gathered, a crowd demanding justice. They wanted action to be taken against the CRPF man who shot him, FIR to be lodged and CCTV footage of the whole incident to be released before post-mortem or taking the body from the mortuary.
The crowd remained outside the mortuary till 6 pm and barely any media personnel was able to talk to them.
Meanwhile, official statements were issued that the CRPF man was beaten, Murfad had tried snatching his weapon, following which he was shot.
“If the incident has happened the way police says, then release the CCTV footage. If our brother is wrong, we are okay with whatever investigation you want to do. But let there be transparency and let there be the truth,” said a cousin of Murfad.
Murfad’s mother Nagina Begum was inconsolable. “Yesterday he was with me and telling me we will go for Umrah in November. Now he’s dead and gone,” she was wailing.
His aunt, Meharu Nissa was also all in tears repeating, “He was a good boy and so young. There are other boys in our family Zeeshan and cousins of the same age. How can they just kill him in this manner? He did nothing.”
“Where is his mobile phone? Let people see who called him last and asked him to come to that spot? And why are they being so hesitant about releasing the CCTV footage?” said Mehran, cousin of Murfad.
The family also said, “Our son will not come back now. The only thing we can get is justice. He has never had any troubles. You can ask anyone in the neighborhood. He was a good man and now suddenly they are putting ‘terrorist’ tag on him, saying he was disturbed and all those non sense?”
His uncle, Amzad Shah said, “There were no VVIP staying in the house at the time. Even if the incident happened to like the police is narrating, they could have caught him and beaten him up. What was the need of shooting him? He didn’t have any weapons on him. He was totally unarmed and innocent.”
A woman Raj Kumari who says she is an eyewitness said, “He was shot twice outside the premises and then dragged inside and finally killed.”
At 5 pm, a magisterial inquiry was ordered into the cause of death of deceased Syed Murfad Shah s/o Imzad Hussain Shah r/o Gulhuta, Poonch A/P Bantalaab, Jammu who died on 04/08/2018 at Bathindi. A committee of Board of Doctors was constituted to conduct a post-mortem of the deceased.
The relatives of the deceased and other people protested and blocked the road at Chinore, Bantalab and they alleged foul play in the death of the deceased and were asking for a fair and impartial inquiry.
Ramesh Kumar, District Magistrate, Jammu appointed Shri Alyas Khan, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Jammu north as Magistrate who shall inquire into the cause of death.