A YOUTH was killed Wednesday after CRPF personnel fired at his car after it allegedly sped past security checkpoints on the Srinagar-Gulmarg road in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district. The incident sparked protests and clashes with security personnel.
Mehraj ud Din Shah was declared brought dead at the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.
P K Pandey, IG CRPF (Srinagar sector), told The Indian Express that an inquiry had been ordered into the incident.
CRPF spokesman Pankaj Singh said: “At about 1020 hours, a civil vehicle, Wagon R, broke a checkpoint of J&K Police, sped and came across another checkpoint of CRPF. and jumped this check point as well.”
“A convoy of the Army, at that point in time, was passing through the adjacent road and fearing sabotage, the CRPF jawan, manning this Naka, fired warning shots. This civil car was driving in the wrong direction of the road and that was even more alarming. When the car did not stop, despite warning shots, the jawan fired at the car and in turn, the driver was hit on his left shoulder,” Singh said.
In a statement, J&K Police too said the car jumped checkpoints.
But Mehraj ud Din’s uncle Ghulam Hassan Shah, who was with him in the car, rejected the police and CRPF versions of the incident. “In the morning, I asked my nephew to drop me at the Police Control Room in Srinagar where I am posted. When we reached Kawoosa, one side of the road was closed because there was a convoy there. We entered the opposite side. As soon as we approached the checkpoint, a policeman stopped us. I told him I was late. He allowed us to move ahead and signalled to a CRPF man, but he raised his weapon and fired at my nephew,” Shah alleged, adding that he stepped out of the confronted the CRPF personnel.
The incident led to protests and clashes in the youth’s home village Pethmakhama.
Budgam has been witnessing protests since last Friday when a DSP entered a mosque in Mir Mohalla in Nasrullapora and, citing the lockdown, told people gathered there for prayers to disperse. The DSP, Fayaz Shah, was attacked amid stone-pelting.
Budgam SP Amod Nagpure, in a text message, said: “DSP Fayaz got trapped, heavy stone pelting started, and miscreants attempted to lynch him. He got severely injured on the head. Meanwhile, reinforcements reached, and DSP Fayaz was rescued.”
Later, videos did the rounds, showing policemen vandalising homes and shops. IG Vijay Kumar said the videos were being verified and a report had been sought from the district SP.