Sopore Jam’at Leader’s Son Shot Dead

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Killing evokes spontaneous shutdown and protest

SOPORE: Unknown Gunmen shot dead a civilian in broad day light in this restive town on Tuesday. The killing evoked spontaneous shutdown while hundreds of people raising pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans joined the funeral procession of the deceased.

Reports said that Sheikh Altaf (45) son of local Jam’at-e-Islami leader Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf after completing night shift in the Sub-District Hospital Sopore was on his way home in Iqbal Nagar when unidentified gunmen intercepted him near New Colony Sopore and pumped four bullets into him at point blank range. Altaf, a pharmacist by profession fell on ground with blood oozing out from his body. Some people rushed him to local hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

He received three out of six shots fired by the gunmen, who fled from the spot instantly after Altaf collapsed on the ground.

A pharmacist by profession, Altaf was rushed to the nearby hospital for treatment. However, before the doctors could operate him, he died, officials said.

According to the Block Medical Officer, Sopore Dr Masood the deceased had received four bullets, two in head, one each in neck and chest. 

Altaf was a member of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Geelani. His father Muhammad Yusuf, who returned to Valley from Pakistani Kashmir in 2004 via Nepal is said to be a senior member of Jama’t-e-Islami as well as Hurriyat Conference(G).

“Due to his close association with the pro-freedom leaders and for being an ardent supporter of Kashmir movement, Altaf spent many years in different jails. He was religious and pro-freedom activist,” a CNS report said.

Eyewitnesses said that as the news of his death spread in the town, people in large numbers assembled outside the hospital and amid anti-BJP, anti-PDP, anti-India and pro-freedom slogans carried the body in procession from Sopore hospital to Iqbal Nagar.

Recalling an incident that took place a few years back, one of the friends of the deceased was quoted by CNS saying: Sheikh Altaf once slapped a police officer in police station Sopore, after the later misbehaved with him. “He was bold and always used to lead the pro-freedom protest marches in Sopore,” he said.

Pertinently, Sheikh Abdul Rouf, the brother of the deceased was killed in a gun fight in 1999 with the Indian Army.

At around 3:00 P.M, funeral prayers were held at Iqbal Market in which hundreds of people, including leaders and members of TeH were present. 

Altaf who was laid to rest at martyr’s grave yard Iqbal Market is survived by two daughters and a son.

Meanwhile a police official said that a murder case has been registered and investigation has been taken up to trace the assailants.

Father says let CM prove his worth

Sopore:  Holding Govt agencies directly responsible for the killing of his son, Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf,  whose son Sheikh Altaf was killed by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday morning said that if there is really a good government existing on the ground, then it must conduct a fair and honest probe to expose the killers.

“My son was murdered by Indian agencies and it was a planned cold blooded murder. First time, my son adopted such a route to reach his home which he never took before and I am sure he did it because he got a mysterious call at 10:34 and probably the caller had asked him to meet him near New Colony. Shortly before, bullets were showered upon him, his mobile phone again rang and when he was about to pick up the phone, gunmen pumped bullets in his body,” Sheikh Muhammad Yousuf told CNS adding that in past as well government forces used to threaten him of dire consequences.

He said that few days back, Sheikh Altaf was picked up by police in connection with mobile tower attacks. “He was released after two days. Altaf was not involved in any such attacks and he was murdered for being my son and for being the supporter of the Kashmir freedom struggle,” he said.

“I don’t expect justice from the present pro-Indian government but there is a party that claims to be pro-people and I appeal to the head of this party who is also the Chief Minister to conduct a time-bound thorough probe into the incident and expose the killers,” he said. (CNS)   

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