Killing of civilian by troops triggers clashes in Kupwara

Isaac Cain
December 18, 2017

"He was shifted to sub-district hospital Kralpora for treatment from where he was referred to Srinagar hospital", he said.

"As he moved a few yards away from his house, the troops fired at him, leaving him in pool of blood. He succumbed enroute to Srinagar at Sopore", family of the deceased said.

Later, hundreds of people attended Asif's funeral prayers amidst chanting of anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.

Expressing shock and grief over the killing of sumo driver Asif Iqbal in kupwara, National Conference on Sunday strongly condemning the incident, NC Working President Mr. Omar Abdullah termed the killing of Asif Iqbal of Kupwara as a tragic and inconsolable loss and extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.

"At around 10.55 p.m., the military observed suspicious movement of three persons which prompted the security forces to open fire, leading to a gunfight", the officer said.

When queried, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, said the Army had placed ambushes in the Thandipora village to maintain surveillance over the area after receiving information about the presence of terrorists there on Saturday night.

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"In the cross-fire, a person, later identified as Asif Iqbal Bhat, a taxi driver, was killed due to a gunshot wound", he added.

He said that FIR will be registered in this regard. "The individuals were challenged by troops, however, they did not respond", he said. After this youth resorted to stone pelting on forces who in retaliation used tear smoke shells to disperse the crowd. The spokesman added that the investigations have been ordered and same are in progress. "We appeal people to cooperate with us, to know under what circumstances the army fired", said the SSP.

The protests erupted after residents of Batpora village clashed with the security forces.

The police also issued a press release, saying it had "lodged an FIR in Police Station Kralpora and investigation has been started" regarding the killing but skipped altogether any mention of the army. The government ordered a magisterial inquiry. During the clashes, almost ten cops including Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kupwara Shamsher Hussain were injured.

Internet has been suspended across Kupwara.

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