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Jammu and Kashmir: Police say civilian killed in ‘crossfire’ with militants, kin question claim

Shahid Ajaz, from Arwani village in Anantnag district, was killed when CRPF personnel opened fire in Babapora village of Shopian. The incident took place near the CRPF camp at Babapora.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: October 25, 2021 4:11:27 am
Shopian encounter, J&K encounter, Shopian encounter militants killed, militants killed in J&K, J&K newsSecurity forces in Shopian (File)

A 19-YEAR-OLD CIVILIAN was killed in crossfire after militants attacked Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a village in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Sunday, according to police.

Shahid Ajaz, from Arwani village in Anantnag district, was killed when CRPF personnel opened fire in Babapora village of Shopian. The incident took place near the CRPF camp at Babapora.

“Around 1030 hours unidentified terrorists attacked a naka party of 178 battalion CRPF at Babapora, Shopian. CRPF retaliated the fire and during cross firing one unidentified person got killed. Further details are being ascertained,” Shopian police tweeted.

Shahid’s family rejected the police claim, saying it was a targeted killing. “I was told by the eyewitnesses that it was a targeted killing,” said Shahid’s younger brother Zubair Ahmad.

Both Shahid and Zubair worked as part-time labourers, plucking apples in the orchards of Shopian. “We were both plucking apples in Shopian but at different places,” Zubair said. “Yesterday evening, I called him and he told me that we would go home tomorrow. When I called him again in the morning, he didn’t take my calls. Then I received a call that he has been killed.”

Oldest among five siblings – three brothers and two sisters– Shahid was a first year graduation student and worked as a part-time labourer. His father Ajaz Ahmad also works as a labourer.

Mainstream political leaders condemned the killing. “He was shot dead and his bag has no weapons or explosives, he’s carrying fruits and vegetables. This policy of ‘shoot first’ will further alienate people. This is no way to make friends with people or the youth of Kashmir,” tweeted NC vice-president Omar Abdullah.

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti tweeted: “Another innocent civilian killed allegedly by CRPF in Shopian today. It’s sad that armed forces show little restraint and operate with such impunity.”

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