Anantnag: The family of Shahid Aijaz Rather, who was killed outside a paramilitary camp in Shopian on Sunday, has urged Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to disclose CCTV footage of the alleged cross firing.
Shahid's uncle, Muhammad Hussain Rather, said that the family wanted to review the CCTV footage of the incident to know whether their son was killed in targetted fire by paramilitary forces or in cross firing as claimed by the Shopian police.
Muhammad Hussain told a local news agency: “As the incident has just happened outside CRPF camp so CCTV footage must be available which will clearly show whether there was any attack or not and was Shahid killed in target fire or in crossfire,” Rather said. "We urge the LG Manoj Sinha to allow us to watch the CCTV footage."
In a statement issued twelve hours after Shahid's killing, the police claimed that he was an "associate of terrorists" who had snatched a paramilitary trooper's weapon; yet, the police also claimed that he was killed in "cross firing".
The incident occurred outside a CRPF camp in Babapora area of Zainapora in Shopian district on Sunday morning at about 10:30 am. The police also claimed that one member of the paramilitary also received injuries but didn't specify who or the extent of injuries.
A resident of Nowpora Arwani hamlet of Kulgam district, Shahid, as per the relatives, was the sole bread earner in the family. Shahid’s father Aijaz Ahmad Rather said that his son was a 12th class student but due to poverty he wasn't able to submit his examination fee.
“Due to poverty, he was working as a laborer. Around a week before he went to Reshiepora, Zainapora to earn livelihood by plucking apples and had to return home on Saturday but due to heavy rain, he wasn't able to come and decided to return home on Sunday instead,” Aijaz Ahmad said.
On Sunday morning, a local person was called by the concerned police station and enquired about Shahid, who later informed us about his killing,” he said.
“Soon we saw his picture on social media and identified him,” Rather said, adding that they rushed to the concerned police post who were cordial and told them to wait up to 4 pm. “We received his body at around 7: 30 pm and was laid to rest in a local graveyard,” he said.
Unlike several recent instances of killings of militants, their associates, or civilians in government forces firing, the Rather family was given custody of Shahid's body and allowed to perform his last rites.
“My son was never arrested and if any person will say he was involved in any wrong activity, then we don't demand anything, but if he wasn't wrong in any way then why was he killed,” Rather said, adding “He was a very caring son but his killing has snatched everything from us."
“I have been operated thrice and have a fracture in hand and foot, how can I take care of four minors and my wife, '' he said, urging the Sinha administration to help bring facts to light.
“We don't have any source of income and have just a single room to live in and now since yesterday's incident we are living in neighbours house as we don't have space where we can keep guests who are coming for condolences,” Rather said.
The killing of Shahid, on a day the Union Home Minister was visiting Jammu and Kashmir for the first since August 2019 was widely condemned by regional parties including the National Conference, People's Democratic Party, and the People's Conference. They sought a time bound probe into the matter as has been the case during such killings in their tenures in power.
The police official said that FIR No.130/2021 under section 307,392,353,511-IPC,7/27 I.A. Act stands registered in Police Station Zainapora and investigation has been taken up.
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