Slain Civilian’s Family Seeks Probe In Saturday Killing

SRINAGAR: A family whose member was killed in a weekend attack in Sopore is seeking a thorough probe into the killing, media reported said.

Relatives of one of the slain persons in Sopore consoling each other in the hospital. Two civilians and two cops were killed in a militant in Sopore on June 12, 2021. KL image: Bilal Bahadur

Firdous Ahmad Shalla, the brother of 31-year-old civilian Manzoor Ahmad Shalla has alleged that his brother was picked up by Jammu and Kashmir police hours before the firing incident for violating the weekend Covid-19 curfew.

Police have rebutted the allegation saying the circumstantial evidence does not support the version.

“When my brother saw the police enforcing restrictions, he closed his shop. But the cops ran after him and detained him,” Firdous told news website The Wire.  “My brother pleaded with them not to arrest him and was ready to pay the fine. But the cops whisked him into their vehicle and sped away.”

Demanding an impartial investigation into the killing, Firdous said, “I don’t know how he was killed but there should be a fair and transparent probe.”

Shalla also demands the release of CCTV footage of the incident. “We heard that he [Manzoor] had lost a lot of blood before a biker took him to the hospital. Had he been rushed to the hospital immediately, he could have survived,” Firdous alleged.

In another report on the incident that killed two cops and two civilians by The Quint, Firdous claimed that the gypsy in which his brother was being whisked away to the police station was bullet-proof.

Asked about the police claim that Manzoor was killed in cross-firing, he said: “Whether he was killed by policemen or he died in cross-firing, we want a fair probe. Whosoever is involved in this, we want the government to identify them and strict action should be taken against them,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir police has blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba for the attack. Participating in the wreath-laying of the slain cops at District Police Lines, Srinagar, the Director-General of Police Dilbagh Singh told the media that a police party deployed on Covid19 duties had been attacked by militants on Saturday.

“A police party of Sopore led by sub-inspector Mukesh was deployed in the area when they were fired upon. They returned fire,” he said, adding that two police personnel and an equal number of civilians had been killed in the attack.

Sopore’s Senior Superintendent of Police, Sudhanshu Verma, rebutted the claim made by the family. “Had he been inside our vehicle, he would have fallen near the vehicle (after being hit by a bullet),” Verma was quoted by The Wire saying. “But he was not in our vehicle. Only our jawans fell near the vehicle (after being hit by bullets).”

In the aftermath of the attack, the J&K Police has transferred SHO Sopore.

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