SRINAGAR: One civilian was killed and another seriously injured when CRPF opened fire on the Ali Jan Road near Zoonimar in downtown Srinagar on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident took place barely two-and-half hours after five CRPF men were killed and six injured in an attack in the upper Srinagar area of Bemina.
The civilian killed in the Zoonimar firing, identified as 37-year-old Altaf Ahmad Wani, a father of three daughters and a pashmina weaver by profession, had been walking on the road along with his father Abdul Ahad, locals said.
He took bullets on his chest, and was declared brought dead by doctors at the nearby SKIMS.
The CRPF men, in three vehicles, had been on their way to the SKIMS to donate blood for a colleague injured in the Bemina attack, reports said.
According to eyewitnesses, the personnel had opened fire in anger when a few boys playing cricket at Saidpora had shouted when a number of CRPF vehicles sped by.
The paramilitary force has denied the allegations, saying its men had opened fire to protect themselves when surrounded by stone-pelters.
Our men were on their way to the SKIMS to donate blood for colleagues critically injured in the Bemina shootout, the inspector general for the CRPF, VS Yadav, said.
As the party reached Saidpora, people surrounded it and pelted stones on our men, he said.
To save themselves, our men were compelled to resort to firing, he said.
In a statement issued this evening, the police said: This afternoon some security personnel were ferried to SKIMS to donate blood to the victims of Bemina encounter. On their return, the vehicle they were travelling in came under a stone-pelting attack at Saidpora, Zonimar, by miscreants. This resulted in opening up of fire, as a result of which one person Altaf Ahmad Wani Son of Abdul Ahad Wani resident of Saidpora was seriously injured.
A large procession carrying Wanis body to the martyrs graveyard in Eidgah was broken up by the police with heavy tear gas shelling and not allowed to proceed ahead.
Wani was laid to rest at the neighbourhood cemetery in the presence of a large number of people.
Scores of police vehicles with hundreds of personnel had been parked at the Eidgah crossing.
Violent protests and retaliatory tear gas shelling broke out in several localities in the old city where authorities later withdrew all CRPF deployments and replaced them with local police.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.