A rattled Omar Abdullah government today said the CRPF was out of control and lacking command after another youth was killed reportedly in firing by the paramilitary force in Sopore. This was the third death in action by security forces in this town since Friday.
Calling the death unwarranted,the state government called a press conference attacking the CRPF and urging the Union Home Minister to visit Kashmir and rein in the force.
A local football player,21-year-old Bilal Ahmad Wani was killed when CRPF men allegedly fired towards a group of people,mostly children,outside a clinic in the evening. Wani was hit in the throat by a rubber bullet,while another was wounded. A daily wager employed with the Public Health Engineering Department,he was the only son of a manual labourer and has three unmarried sisters.
There have been protests in Sopore over the killings of civilians by security forces in recent days,and Omar had called a meeting of his Cabinet and top officers,including the Director General,CRPF,yesterday where it was stressed that civilian deaths wouldnt be tolerated.
At a late-night press conference today,National Conference minister Ali Mohamamd Sagar publicly admitted the state governments helplessness in controlling the CRPF men. The firing by CRPF men today was totally unwarranted. The CRPF has gone out of control… We are alienating people, he said.
Sopore Superintendent of Police Altaf Ahmad also called the CRPF action unwarranted. He also asked why,despite instructions,CRPF men went on their own without police.
An eyewitness,Zubair Ahmad,said that 15 persons had gathered outside Dr Sofis clinic. CRPF men were standing nearby. Few kids started booing. Within seconds,CRPF men fired tear gas shells… They collected the used cartridges and left.