SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Police have set up a special investigation team (SIT) in the sensational twin murders in a mafia-style shootout in the Arnia belt. Two persons were killed and two others were injured in the Friday morning firing incident that triggered panic in the border belt.
Officials said that the incident took place on Friday morning when four men travelling in a Scorpio and a Thar parked their vehicles near each other and entered into a heated argument. Interestingly, both the groups reportedly belonged to the same area and were coming from different directions.
The deceased were identified as Sabar Chowdhary and Arif Chowdhary, 20. Arif belonged to Chuhalla village and Sabar was a resident of Chak-e-Mohammad Yar.
The two persons injured in the incident were identified as Babar Chowdhary (Chak-e-Mohammad Yar) and Parveen Kumar, a resident of Chak-e-Mehmood Zar. The injured were immediately evacuated to the hospital where they are being treated. While the former is stated to be critical, the latter, according to media reports is in a position to talk and communicate.
Injured Babar is said to be the elder brother of deceased Sabar Chowdhary. He reportedly has 15 police cases against him, according to some media reports. All the four who received bullets in the shootout were from the same group. However, police are investigating if one of them was brutally attacked by a sharp-edged weapon also.
Reports quoting police sources said that the deceased got killed in firing with an assault rifle, which was the service weapon of one of the alleged accused among two who are police personnel.
“The alleged accused are police personnel of the Reserve battalion of police and one of the alleged accused was carrying his service weapon,” said police officials, the news gatherer said. They have been identified as Sidique Chowdhary and Bhupinder Singh. While Choudhary’s services were under suspension, Singh was still serving and carried the service weapon with him. Singh, unlike all others, is not a resident of the areaa.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu Chandan Kohli said that a special investigation team has been constituted into the matter, which will be headed by SP HQ Jammu, Ramnish Gupta. He added that prima facie it seems that dispute over land and cash is the reason behind the incident.
Interestingly all the persons belonging to two groups were known to each other and belonged to the same Arnia belt.
The lone survivor in this whole exchange is Praveen Kumar who saw the whole scene play out in front of him. He has received a bullet injury in his leg.
Police have not issued a statement. However, reports said the two persons opened fire while being in their vehicle. These included a policeman, currently under suspension, and his colleague, another cop, who is in service and carried a service rifle with him. Both of them are on the run. Some media reports identified the killer duo but there is confusion over one name. A police uniform was reportedly recovered from the Thar SUV that police seized.
Some reports suspected that all the persons involved in the incident, including one of the slain, may have some connection with the drugs but police said they are investigating the case. Cops who evacuated the two bodies from the spot and seized the vehicle also recovered a few hockey sticks and some sharp-edged weapons and machetes from the brook on the banks of which the killings took place. The police were informed by the local Sarpanch about the shooting at Kothe Chak village in the Arnia-Salaihad belt.
The gunmen are still on the run while the police have lodged an FIR against them. Police have already done the post mortem of the slain duo. One vehicle has been seized and a manhunt has been launched to recover the vehicle.