SRINAGAR The family of the 26-year old Saleem Malik who was allegedly killed by the government forces during a cordon and search operation have asked that why was their son killed in cold blood and why no action has been initiated against those who pumped 7 bullets into him.
The family is still in shock, narrating the killing episode to everyone who visit their house to express solidarity with them.
My son was fond of raring sheep and pigeons and never in his life had picked up a stone in his hand. Why was he killed when he was not a militant and had clean police record. Why was he killed when no militant was present in the area and there was no encounter there, questions Muhammad Yaqoob Malik, the father of slain youth who according to him was brutally gunned down by government forces.
While divulging details of the incident, Yaqoob said that after watching cricket match on Wednesday night, all the family members went to sleep. For morning prayers I as usual came down stairs for ablution, but found men in uniform outside. I along with my son offered prayers inside the room. My son Salim went outside to close the door of sheep shed that he found open. As he tried to close the door, the government forces without asking him anything pumped bullets into his body. My son had received at least 7 bullets in his belly. The forces personnel fired at least 50 rounds at a time as if they were confronting militants, he said.
The father of the slain youth said that if it was a search operation, it was the duty of the police officials to enter into my house for questioning. Neither any militant was present in the area nor was there any encounter as was claimed by Indian media, he said and demanded stern punishment for the killers.
How can they kill any innocent young man without any justification? It is these killings which force youth of Kashmir to join militancy. It was a cold blooded murder, he said.
The killing of Muhammad Salim was condemned by both Hurriyat leaders and mainstream politicians.
Joint Resistance Leadership has called for a shutdown on Friday against the killing while PDP senior leader and former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also termed the killing as a cold blooded murder.
Bukhari said the killing of Muhammad Saleem Malik is a heinous crime which is unacceptable to any civilized society. He demanded an impartial probe at the highest level so that the culprits of this brutal killing are booked and brought to justice.
Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said that government forces acting on a credible input cordoned a cluster of houses in Noor Bagh area of Srinagar city, where the hiding militants fired indiscriminately resulting in the death of an individual identified as Saleem Malik son of Mohammad Yaqoob Malik.
However police said they have initiated an investigation in all the cases.