Sopore Killing: Family  Says, ‘It Was Target Killing’



The family members of Sopore shopkeeper Khurshid Ahmed Bhat who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Bomai Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday night hold Indian agencies responsible for the killing of Bhat. The father of the slain youth while terming it as ‘target killing’ said that he has no expectations from the present government.

“Yesterday, Sheikh Altaf became the prey of target killing, today it was my son and tomorrow it will be some other person. I appeal people and media to expose these killers. My son was not killed by militants but it was the handiwork of some Indian agencies,” Ghulam Nabi Bhat told CNS.

Tariq Ahmed Bhat, the brother of the slain youth said that due to police movement in the area, his brother shut down his shop before the routine time. “As my brother crossed a narrow street, unidentified gunmen fired four bullets upon him. One bullet hit his head. Within five minutes of the incident, three policemen appeared on the scene. One policeman was shivering and he tried to take my bleeding brother to hospital. He requested me to take care of his service rifle which I refused. All the three policemen fled from the spot. Later on a police party arrived quickly who took my brother to Sopore hospital where Khurshid succumbed to his injuries,” he said and added that he is shocked how his brother got killed amid heavy police patrolling.

He said that the same group might be involved in the killing of his brother who murdered Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist Sheikh Altaf on Tuesday. “My slain brother was the president of local Beopar Mandal and was running a General Store. Police had arrested him several times on charges of stone-pelting. He was an ardent supporter of Kashmir Freedom Struggle and it is hard to subscribe the police theory that militants killed him,” Bhat said.

SHO Bomai said that police patrolling in the area is a routine matter. “We are for the protection of the people and we will expose those responsible for the killing,” he said.

SDPO Bomai Shafiq Ahmed categorically said that a local militant Qayoom Najar is doing all this. “Najar, a resident of Batapora Sopore is affiliated with LeT and he is directly responsible for these killings in Sopore. We have collected all the evidences against him and all efforts are on to trace and nab him,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bomai and its adjoining areas observed a complete shutdown against the killing. All the shops and business establishments remained closed. The angry youth in the area pelted stones on police vehicles when a police party arrived there to investigate the matter. “The people there pelt stones on our men. Let them allow us to investigate the matter thoroughly,” said a police officer.

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