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Clashes, teargas shelling, firing in Shopian
Curfew imposed in Shopian, Kulgam
3rd slain identified as civilian, locals demand removal of CRPF camp
SRINAGAR, Sep 8: Curfew was imposed in twin districts of south Kashmir, Shopian and Kulgam on Sunday following the violent protests against the killing of four persons in CRPF firing in Gagran area of Shopian yesterday.

Meanwhile, the third deceased has been identified as a civilian hailing from Kulgam village. Amid curfew clashes broke out between the forces and youth in many localities of Shopian town.

Four persons riding on two motor cycles were killed Saturday afternoon after the CRPF men of 14 battalion Camp at Gagran-Shopian allegedly fired on them. One person Adil Ahmad was injured in firing and is admitted to SMHS hospital. Though the CRPF officials and police earlier claimed that all the slain were militants and were killed only after they fired upon the sentry of the bunker.

Police in a press release had, however, claimed that two of the slain were militants and two civilians who were killed after being caught in cross firing. They were identified as Mohammad Yousuf Bhat of Durpora-Zainapora and Towseef Ahmad Bhat of Gagran- Shopian. However, this morning the third slain was also identified as a civilian, Tariq Ahmad Mir of Wokai, Kulgam, puncturing the claims of the police and CRPF. The body of the fourth deceased is still at DPL Shopian and is yet to be identified. Though the locals claim that he is an outside laborer but the police said that he could be a Pakistani militant.

“The face of the fourth deceased resembles a Pakistani militant Abdullah Haroon. We are very much sure about him being Haroon,” DIG police said.

He, however, confirmed that the third deceased has been identified as a civilian. “Yes the third slain turned out to be civilian from Kulgam village. Though there is no case registered against him with police,” DIG police said.

The locals and family members of the deceased said that all the four were civilians and were killed by the CRPF men without any provocation.

“Towseef was going to drop his friend Adil at the examination center. After being stopped by the CRPF men near the bunker they fired on them without any reason. Their bodies were lying there for nearly an hour as they did not allow anyone to come near the spot. As we tried to move ahead to remove the dead bodies the CRPF men fired at us too resulting into the injuries to one more person, Ishfaq Ahmad alias Heemu,” locals said.

They said that they also informed the police and civil administration officials, minutes after the firing but they too arrived late.

“Had the CRPF men allowed us to remove the injured immediately they may have survived,” they said.

Tawseefs father, Ghulam Mohammad talking to Kashmir Times over phone said that one of their women relatives, who lived in the camp area told him that she saw CRPF men firing on Tawseef with her own eyes.

“I saw two motor-cycle borne youth being stopped by CRPF men at some distance. After being stopped another CRPF men came from the back and caught hold of the collar of one of the youth. After catching hold of his collar I heard some gun shots with both the youth falling down. I did not know it was your son. Had I known it I would have rushed to the spot to remove his body,” Bhat quoting the woman as having told him. He said that his son had no links with militants and was focusing on his own business that he had started recently.

Locals also demanded that the camp be removed from the area.

“This is not for the first time that such an incident has taken place. The CRPF men in 2004 killed a youth of the locality, Sartaj Ahmad, who was going to bakery shop for getting some biscuits. Later they said that it was a mistaken identity,” locals said.

The said that strike will continue in the township until and unless the camp is not removed. “We don’t expect any punishment to the killers of our brothers. Now our only demand is the removal of the camp. This camp has become a source of harassment and humiliation for the locals. These CRPF men even pass lewd remarks on the college and school girls who pass by the road,” two locals, Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Altaf told Kashmir Times over phone.

Meanwhile, authorities fearing violent protests imposed curfew in Shopian and Kulgam townships. Reports said that amid curfew youth in Baba Mohalla area of Shopian in the morning came out of their houses and clashed with forces. The forces fired in air and resorted to teargas shelling. The clashes continued for some time after which more additional forces were deployed in the area.

In Gagran area of the town, reports said, youth amid restrictions throughout the day fought pitched battles with CRPF men. “Dozens of youth from the locality throughout the day clashed with CRPF men by resorting to stone pelting at their camp. The CRPF personal in return resorted to teargassing, however, no body was injured in the clashes,” reports said.

News Updated at : Sunday, September 8, 2013
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