Monday, June 28, 2010
2010:YEAR OF TEENAGE KILLINGS BY CRPF
2010: YEAR OF TEENAGE KILLINGS
Out Of 12, 9 Fell To CRPF Bullets
Courtesy: Daily Greater Kashmir dated June 29th, 2010 by ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, June 28: In a dangerous pattern, 12 persons, mostly teenagers, were killed since January this year in disproportionate use of force mainly by paramilitary CRPF troopers while maintaining “law and order.”
Out of 12, the CRPF have killed 9 persons in indiscriminate firing while quelling protests. Two teenagers died after being hit by teargas canisters fired by police while another was killed in firing by the Border Security Force personnel. Incidentally, June turned out to be bloodiest with 8 killings registered till now.
While the State Government has asked New Delhi to reign in the CRPF troopers operating in the Valley, there is no end to the killings with two of them taking place today.
The killing spree this year started on January 8 with the death of 16-year old Inayat Khan of Dalgate in unprovoked firing by CRPF at Budshah Chowk. The killing had evoked widespread protests across the city. The Government responded by just expressing sorrow over the killing and extending monetary relief to the affected family.
On January 31, Wamiq Farooq, 13, of Rainawari was killed after a teargas shell fired by police hit his head. After massive protests for days together, Police claimed to have suspended the Assistant Sub-Inspector. However, when Wamiq’s family demanded action against the accused, police even denied them the FIR copy. The hapless family got the FIR copy on intervention of the Court. The family was shocked when the police described Wamiq as a ‘miscreant.’ The case is going on in the Court.
As the Valley was yet to recover from Wamiq’s killing, Zahid Farooq, 16, of Nishat was killed when BSF personnel opened unprovoked firing on him at Kralsangri. Incidentally, the BSF had initially denied their involvement in the incident. It was only after the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took up the issue with the Home Minister P. Chidambaram that the BSF extended cooperation in the investigation.
For the first time in the past two years, the BSF admitted that its personnel including a Commandant RK Birdi and constable Lakhvinder were involved in the incident and handed them over to police. The duo is facing trial. However the BSF has filed an application seeking transfer of case to its Court.
A week later, 17 year old Zubair Ahmad Bhat was killed when CRPF while dispersing the protesters, allegedly forced him to jump in a river and continued to pelt stones on him till he breathed his last. Police closed the case terming it as a case of drowning.
Since past 17 days, eight persons were killed. On June 11, 17 year-old Tufail Ahmad Matoo was killed after a teargas canister fired by police hit his head at Rajouri Kadal. Police had earlier maintained that it had not fired a single bullet or tear smoke shell in the area on the fateful day.
However Tufail’s autopsy report confirmed that he was killed by a teargas shell which had damaged his brain and skull. Police ordered an inquiry into the killing but its findings are yet to be made public. Tufail’s father, Muhammad Ashraf, has accused the government of failing to arrest the accused despite their identification.
To protest against Tufail’s killing, hundreds of people took to streets in Old City. While dispersing the protesters, the troopers of CRPF caught hold of a pedestrian, Muhammad Rafique Bangroo, 24, thrashing him severely. After battling for life for a week, Bangroo breathed his last at SKIMS.
On June 20, the day of Bangroo’s funeral, the troopers opened indiscriminate fire on the protesters who had allegedly attacked a bunker at Noorbagh. In the incident, Bangroo’s relative, Javid Ahmad Malla, died due to bullet injuries on the spot.
Malla’s killing triggered violent protests across the city forcing the authorities to clamp curfew for four days. CM Omar Abdullah responded by directing the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Naseema Lanker, to probe the killing and submit a report within a week. However the report is yet to be made public.
On June 25, two youth Shakeel Ahmad Ganai, 24, and Firdous Ahmad Kakroo, 20, were killed when CRPF troopers fired upon a procession demanding bodies of two militants killed in Sopur. The Government has ordered a judicial inquiry headed by the chairperson of State Human Rights Commission, Justice Bashir-ud-Din. The terms of reference for the Judicial Commission include ‘to ascertain the causes of death of the two youth, to determine the persons responsible for these deaths and fix responsibility for use of excessive force, if any.’
Following violent protests against the killing, the authorities imposed curfew in Sopur and its adjoining areas. However, on June 27 evening, a small group of protesters defied the restrictions demanding stern punishment against the accused troopers. The troopers fired on the protesters killing Bilal Ahmed Wani, 23, of Kralte Sopur.
Registering his protest against Bilal’s killing, the Law Minister and senior National Conference leader, Ali Muhammad Sagar, during a press conference accused the CRPF of defying CM’s orders and killing civilians.
Sagar described the firing by CRPF as unwarranted, saying some 20 youth had gathered in Sopur town and there was no justification to open fire on them.
Not taking lessons from the previous killings or the State’s Government’s snub, the CRPF troopers continued with their killing spree killing a youth and a nine year old boy during protests on Monday.
Tufail Ahmed Rather, 9, was killed when CRPF opened fire on protesters at Delina Varmul Monday afternoon. Twenty-one year old Tajamul Bashir Bhat died in a similar way in Sopur.
INNOCENT KILLINGS IN STAGED ENCOUNTERS:
On January 24, massive protests rocked south Kashmir against the killing of a native, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir of Kalmpora village. The locals accused the Army and Special Operations Group of using the deceased as a human shield during an encounter.
On February 13, Army claimed to have killed “oldest” militant in Pahaldagi village in Handwara in north Kashmir. However the deceased turned out to be a beggar. Police registered a murder case against Army and exhumed the body for identification.
On April 24, Army killed Ghulam Muhammad Kalas, when he along with two horses was returning home from nearby forests after collecting timber. In its defense, Army said it presumed the deceased as a militant as he did not stop despite warnings. After protests, police registered a murder case against Army. The deceased was father of eight children.
On April 29, three civilians of Rafiabad identified as Muhammad Shafi, Shehzad Ahmad and Riyaz Ahmad were killed in a fake encounter by Army in Machil and labeled as militants. After exhumation and identification of the bodies, the three persons including a trooper of Territorial Army were arrested. Though police identified the main accused Major, however he is yet to be arrested.
Posted by BRUISED KASHMIRI at 11:10 PM