September 24, 2021 10:30 pm

Slain Cop’s Family Cries Foul, Seek Probe

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Jagti camp (Jammu): The family of slain policeman Ajay Dhar, who was apparently shot dead by a colleague in a case of mistaken identity in Kupwara, accused the police department of attempting a "cover-up", and demanded justice.

Dhar, a follower in the police department posted in Handwara, died in the early hours of Wednesday after being shot by a sentry guarding a temple who mistook him for a militant, officials said.

According to preliminary investigation, Dhar was going from the Handwara police station to sleep at the temple located in main Handwara town, they said.

"The victim was using headphones on his mobile phone. When he reached near the temple, the guard there observed suspicious movement and signalled him to stop. Dhar apparently could not hear the sentry, prompting him to open fire," one of the officials said on Wednesday.

As Dhar's mortal remains reached his residence at Jagti camp on the outskirts of Jammu city on Thursday, hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits gathered outside and held protests, demanding a probe into the killing.

"Please return my son alive. Who fires at the head of a person," Dhar's grief-stricken mother lashed out.

Speaking to reporters, the victim's younger sister, Neha, said, "We want justice for my brother Ajay, not compensation or money. The police are telling lies. We want a high level probe by the NIA."

She added that they don't trust the statements of the police, and the government must order a probe by either the NIA or the CBI.

"It is a cold-blooded murder," another family member alleged.

Lashing out at the administration and the police for their failure to safeguard Kashmiri Pandits in the valley, Ajay Dhar's grandmother said, "We want justice and punishment to those involved in it, not compensation."

Terming the incident a "cold-blooded murder", the BJP accused the police of a cover-up and demanded a high-level probe.

J-K BJP vice-president Ajay Bharti said the incident will have repercussions on the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley if a probe is not ordered.

Kashmiri Pandit leader Vikas Raina also demanded a probe by the CBI into the circumstances of his death.

Several KP organisations, including the APMCC, HGT, ASKPC, KPC, AIKS, KPS and the Panun Kashmir, also demanded a high-level probe.

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