The family of Sopore youth Friday alleged that the death of their son in 2011 was a cold blooded murder by Police and later on claimed that the youth had committed suicide.
Police claim that Junaid Ahmad Khuroo, 20, of Kralteng Sopore was a militant and had committed suicide while evading arrest was strongly questioned by father of the deceased.
While talking to CNS, Junaid’s father Abdul Qayoom, a surrendered militant himself rejected vehemently the police claim that his son was a militant and committed suicide. He also rebuffed that his son had fired on a CRPF bunker in North Kashmir’s Sopore Town.
Police had filed FIR No. 178/2011 dated 29-06-2001 under section 307 RPC in Sopore police station into the killing. Police said that on June 29 Junaid was chased by 179 BN CRPF, after firing on its bunker to nab him. Police said he took refuge in a local Masjid where he shot himself dead by a pistol he was carrying with him.
“I out rightly rejected the police claim. My son was never associated with militancy,” he said and termed the police claim as bizarre that his son had shot himself dead. He accused police of cooking a make-believe story to hoodwink the people in general and his family in particular. Abdul Qayoom blamed police for torturing his son and later killed him in custody.
He told CNS that “There was no truth in police claim. Police will not succeed in selling the lie through media, as everyone knew the truth about my son. Police was after my son like vultures from sometime. Like many other youth of the area, my son was no different, he also took part in widespread street protests in 2010. Hardly there was any youth in our area who had not participated in those protests. I wonder why my son was chosen to set a deterrent against the protesters. It’s foolhardy to conclude that my son was ever affiliated with militancy or shot himself dead. No one is ready to buy this blatant lie of police lie,” Qayoom said.
He said that six days prior to his killing Junaid was summoned by the police on June 23, 2011 and was questioned in the police station Sopore for 5 hours. Abdul Qayoom further said, “At around 5 pm, I along with my wife Zahida Banoo took Junaid to the police station on June 23 in response to summon served to him by police. Then SHO had recorded his statement, wherein, he had said that he had taken part in last year street protests like many other youth of his age. The police had also taken his signatures on some papers about which Junaid had no idea. Late in the evening at 10 pm he was freed,” Qayoom said.
On the fateful day of June 29 Junaid had left for School to collect his roll number slip and enroute he had met couple of persons. Abdul Qayoom said, “My son was a reappear student of class 10th and on that day he had left home at around 9:00 am to collect the roll number slip to appear in the examination scheduled on July 9 from Baba Yousuf School at Noorbagh Sopore. On way to school he had met Bilal Ahmad and Zahoor Ahmad, both shopkeepers whom he had also told that he was going to fetch his examination slip. After his failure in 10th standard, he started working as a salesman at a medical clinic at Sopore for few months. He never showed any inclination towards militancy,” he said.
Qayoom further said that around 1 pm his mobile rang up and he was informed about the death of his son. “The news came a shock to me and I was told to reach the police station to identify his body. On reaching there, I was shown his dead body which police refused to hand over to me at that point in time, probably, they feared public reaction. Later in the evening at 8:00 we received his body. The body was entirely wrapped in white bandage, which I strongly believe was to hide the excesses committed over my son in police custody. In procession, his body was buried for eternal rest in a local graveyard. Now police is refusing to share his autopsy report,” Qayoom lamented.
While quoting only eyewitness who saw police SHO entering the Masjid before the gunshots were heard by the people living around the Masjid, Abdul Qayoom said, “At around 11:00 am, the only eyewitness who saw police SHO entering the Masjid lives nearby to the Masjid. The eyewitness told me that he saw SHO entering the Masjid main-gate which made him suspicious. The eyewitness fixed his eyes on the gate to ascertain the reason why the SHO entered the Masjid. Suddenly, he heard gunshots. A little later, the SHO asked him (eyewitness) to enter the Masjid. On entering the Masjid, he saw Junaid flat in the Masjid with a pistol lying on his left side with blood strains on left side of his head. Shocked over the scene, the eyewitness was told by the police that they were chasing him to nab him after he fired on a CRPF bunker, few meters away from the Masjid. The eyewitness was also told by the police that he took refuge in the Masjid and fired upon the police. Police further told the eyewitness when he (Junaid) saw police successfully advanced towards him he fired on his head and died on the spot.” Qayoom said.
While highlighting some technical errors Abdul Qayoom claimed that the eyewitness had told him that his footwear was neatly placed and the pistol was lying on his left side that put a big question mark on the police theory. “My son was a right hander and it is impossible for him to fire on left side of his head. There was no blood on the floor that gives an impression that his body was placed clandestinely there by the police and later a drama was managed to camouflage his killing. There is another blatant loophole in police claim, how come a person chased by police could place his footwear properly in the shoe rack. The eyewitness also told me that he had spotted bullet marks on walls and windows of the Masjid. And how come a pistol borne person fire that much of bullets,” questioned Abdul Qayoom who works as a labourer.
Qayoom said from the scene it clearly appears that his son was killed somewhere and to camouflage a stage was managed to mislead the people about his killing.
Qayoom has decided to take judicial recourse and filed a writ petition in J&K High Court.
When contacted his Counsel, Advocate Parvez Imroz said that they have received the copy of post mortem report of Junaid Ahmed Khuroo in which shows that the right handed slain youth was fired on the left side of his head. “Police has not provided us autopsy report and we are filed we would seek under Right to information Act,” Imroz said and claimed that Junaid was a student who never participated in any militant activity.