A young constable of the Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) of the Karnataka police, which is at the centre of a controversy for opening fire on a Muslim youth, had received the President’s gallantry medal in 2013.
The ANF constable Nave-en G Naik, who opened fire from his AK-47 assault rifle killing Mohammed Kabeer (23), was conferred the award for his role in a 2012 forest encounter with Naxals.
Naik, a fellow constable B D Pradeep and a deputy-commandant of the ANF A H Sha-nkar were involved in a gunbattle with Naxals on September 4, 2012 at the Baginamale-Cheru reserve forest near Subramanya in the Western Ghats.
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While a CID inquiry has been ordered into the firing that lead to the death of Mohammed Kabeer, no case has been brought against the constable who is widely believed to have pulled the trigger.
Despite pressure from civil rights groups for a CBI inquiry and filing of a case against the police personnel, the state Home minister K J George ordered a CID prob suggesting that any other action could demoralize the ANF personnel.
Sources said that one of the primary mistakes leading up to the firing incident was the deployment of fully armed and trained anf personnel in routine police checks.
The incident has taken a communal turn with right wing groups like the Hindu Jagaran Vedike and the VHP questioning the Rs 10 lakh compensation granted by the state government to the family of the victim Mohammed Kabeer.
Meanwhile, expressing solidarity with the family of the victim the Karnataka Komu Sauharda Vedike and other Muslim groups are set to take out a protest march against the ANF killing from Mangalore to Sringeri on Thursday.