SRINAGAR: Facing public outrage over the killing of five people since Saturday in Shopian, the IHK government has directed the state police chief to replace the Gagren CRPF camp with a contingent of the J&K Police.
The state cabinet, which met on Thursday under the chairmanship of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, expressed concern violence in Shopian in south Kashmir, where five people have allegedly been killed by the CRPF in a week. “It (the cabinet) took stock of the investigation by the police into the incident of firing on September 7 at Gagren, Shopian, and noted with dismay that there is no clarity on the facts even five days after the incident,” an official spokesperson said. The cabinet also directed the police to determine all facts pertaining to the case, including the identity of the deceased person, within the next 48 hours.
The CRPF maintains all four people it killed on Saturday were militants, but the police claim three of the slain youths were civilians, while the fourth, Abdullah Haroon, was a Pakistani militant.
Locals in Shopian as well as separatist leaders, meanwhile, allege that the fourth person killed was a non-state laborer.
The officials said that if the facts are not established on time, a judicial inquiry may be ordered. On Wednesday, a youth identified as Rafiq Ahmed Rather was allegedly killed by CRPF personnel from Gagran camp amid a shutdown called by the separatists over the earlier killings.
Meanwhile, senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a shutdown across the Valley on September 13 and 14. On Thursday, too, the Valley observed a complete shutdown. Angry protesters pelted stones in Baramulla, Delina, Sangrama and Qamarwari. The police had to resort to cane charge and fire teargas shells to quell the protesters.