Wasim Khalid/ Shabir Ali
Srinagar/Islamabad, Jan 7: A 34-year old deaf and dumb was shot dead by army personnel few meters away from the residence of the chief minister, Omar Abdullah at Gupkar Sonawar last night.
Police sources said that the incident took place at 10:30 pm on Tuesday evening when [Indian] army men stationed at the residential compound of Commander 31 Sub Area on Gupkar Road opened fire on Abdul Rashid Reshi, who was killed on spot.
They said the chief minister; Omar Abdullah’s residence is few meters away from the spot, where the incident took place.
After hearing the gunshots, a police team rushed to the spot to inquire into the matter.
“During preliminary investigations, we found Reshi had entered the army camp by scaling the wall,” SSP Srinagar, Afhad-ul-Mujtaba told Rising Kashmir.
He claimed that he was challenged and asked by army personnel to stop. “He, however, ignored the warning and continued to move ahead. Later, the sentry stationed at the third check post opened fire on him, killing him on the spot,” he said.
Mujtaba said a Kangri (firepot) and an identity card were recovered from his possession. The deceased, Abdul Rashid Reshi, belonged to Veer Saran village of Pahalgam, Islamabad.
When asked whether any weapons were recovered from the deceased, SSP said, “No weapons or incriminating material was recovered from him. During investigations, it was found that he was impaired by speech and hearing”.
“We have taken cognizance and registered case under CRPC,” added SSP.
The family members of the deceased said that Reshi had left for Srinagar on Tuesday morning. “He had left his home to work as a labourer in Srinagar,” Reshi’s brother, Ghulam Qadir Reshi said.
“He had not informed us and we were searching for him”.
He said, “On Tuesday evening they came to know about his killing from their distant relative, Ghulam Nabi Reshi, currently staying in Srinagar”.
“My brother could not speak or hear. Those who say he was mentally ill are trying to project the things differently” he said.
Stating that he and his family members voted for National Conference during the assembly elections, Qadir said, “We voted for development but got death bag in return. The troops killed my innocent brother without any reason”.
As the body of Abdul Rashid Reshi was brought to his village for last rites, hundreds of people took to roads and staged anti-India and anti-army demonstrations. Shouting pro-freedom and anti India slogans, the villagers and relatives of the victim demanded judicial probe into the killing.
Rafi Mir, the local MLA also demanded a judicial probe into the incident. “The guilty persons should be taken to task and punished,” he said.
He said that the case should not be hushed up.
Army orders probe
A defence spokesman while confirming the killing of the impaired person said, “Army guards at the residential compound of Commander 31 Sub Area on Gupkar Road, Srinagar fired on an intruder who scaled over rear boundary wall and entered its premises at about 10 pm on January 6”.
He claimed that the intruder despite being challenged repeatedly by the sentries did not stop and continued to run towards the residence. “The sentries then fired on the individual resulting in his death. The body was handed over to the police, who are investigating the matter,” he said.
The defence spokesman said that army has ordered a high level inquiry into the incident.
He, however, claimed, “While the intention of the individual is not clear at this juncture, the possibility of his carrying out reconnaissance with the aim of launching a fidayeen attack at a later date cannot be ruled out and the same is also being examined by the inquiry instituted into the case.”
[KW Note: Since 1988, the U.N. recognised disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir has been hit by confrontation between Kashmiri Guerrillas and the Indian Military, which has resulted in more than One hundred thousand of deaths.
Armed Forces Special Powers Act contains no guidelines for ensuring effective control of the Military forces by the civil authorities. Under the act the Indian Military have the power to shoot, arrest, search, seize and even kill when they deem it necessary.]