Sopore Shocker: ‘The Trauma Shall Stay With The Kid For A Lifetime’

Family Alleges Cold-Blooded Murder, Police Refutes Charges

Srinagar: Tear-jerking scenes emerged from Apple town of Sopore on Wednesday morning when a three-year-old kid was caught on camera wailing on the dead body of his slain grandfather. While many wondered who could click the image at the shootout site, the kid was shortly sent home where his arrival triggered mourning.

The sniveling kid was seen inside a police jeep, with half-eaten biscuit, blood-stained clothes and tearful haunting eyes, before a cop lapped and comforted him.

Kashmir witnessed these devastating images on early Wednesday morning when a shoot-out took place between militants and a paramilitary CRPF patrol party at Model Town in Sopore.

Family of slain Bashir A Khan wail after his body was brought in to his home for last rites- KO Photo: Abid Bhat

A civilian and a CRPF personnel were killed and three others injured in the shootout.

JK Police took to its twitter account to laud one of its cops for “saving the life” of the kid. The cop can be seen consoling the crying kid whose clothes were stained with his fallen grandfather’s blood.

According to the police, the boy’s grandfather stopped the car and got out to run to a safe spot but was killed in the crossfire. The boy was later rescued by a policeman standing nearby, police said.

“When we reached the site, what we saw was disturbing. Our priority was to evacuate the child. It was very challenging as terrorists were firing upon us,” said Azim Khan, a police officer.

The slain civilian was identified as Bashir Ahmad Khan, 60, of Mustafa Abad, HMT.

Khan’s inconsolable daughter told reporters at her house that her father was killed in front of his grandson.

Relatives of slain Bashir A Khan wail after his body was brought in to his home for last rites- KO Photo: Abid Bhat

“They have snatched my father forever. He was our only support system. May his killers meet the same fate,” she cursed.

Khan’s son in a video statement alleged that the CRPF personnel “dragged him from his car and shot him dead”.

Khan, who was a contractor, had taken his grandson from Srinagar to Sopore to oversee the progress of a construction work, he said.

Soon after the video started doing rounds on social media and “apprehending law and order situation”, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Vijay Kumar called a Press Conference.

Kumar, questioned those accusing CRPF for the killing. “I want to ask them if they were present at the site of the incident. Did they see who fired,” Kumar asked.

Giving details he said, “When militants started firing in which a CRPF trooper attained martyrdom and three others were injured, a civilian vehicle was going from the area. The man left the vehicle in panic and started to runaway for safety by carrying his 3-year-old grandson in his lap. The fire also hit and he died,” Kumar said.

Despite persistent police denials, the horrific images of the minor boy, unattended and wailing over his grandfather’s body on the street took the social media by storm with many outraged netizens calling the rescue claim of police as a mere ‘PR stunt’.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said, “Everything becomes a propaganda tool in the bloody violence in Kashmir. A three year old toddler has to have his misery broadcast to the whole world to drive home the “we good they bad” message. We would have got the point without his misery being filmed & shared so please don’t.”

“We would have expected no less from the men in uniform than to rescue the young boy & for that they have our gratitude but we would expect better than for them to film & use a three year old’s pain the way it’s being done today,” he added.

What shocked most people was the kid’s image wherein he is exhorting his grandfather to wake up. Oblivious of his fate, the crying kid runs for help, before being taken away from the spot.

While reacting over the heart-breaking incident, many netizens wrote that “This trauma shall stay with this kid for a lifetime. #Sopore.”

“Oh Sopore! Blood-soaked cookies, he held on. Grandfathers love kids to squat on their chest, playway. As if, the kid was granting a last wish. But then the cold body of grandfather turned the kid’s face steel-cold. If bullets, biscuits go together, they should torn souls. All awaiting ‘rescue’,” senior journalist Pirzada Ashiq tweeted.

Last week, a six-year-old boy was killed in more or less similar circumstances in Anantnag.

Little Nihaan Bhat was sleeping in a parked car when he was hit by a bullet.The child’s killing drew widespread anger and condemnation.

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