Civilian killed during “cross-firing” in south Kashmir’s Shopian

A 22-year-old civilian was killed in a “cross-fire” between a joint team of police and CRPF and militants in the Turkwangan area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday. 

The injured resident of Turkwangan, Shoib Ahmad Ganai was immediately rushed to the District Hospital after he was hit by multiple bullets, where he succumbed to his injuries. 

Residents held a protest against the killing of the 22-year-old.

“(Militants) fired upon joint patrol party of CRPF’s 182 batallion and SOG of Pulwama near the bridge connecting Litter Pulwama with Turkwangan, Shopian,” said the Kashmir police in a statement on Twitter. 

“During the exchange of fire between (militants) & our joint team, one civilian namely Shoib Ahmad Ganie son of Ghulam Mohammad of Turkwangam Shopian got injured,” it said, adding that Ganai was referred to District Hospital, Pulwama for treatment where he succumbed to injuries.

 Militants after a brief “chance gunfight” managed to slip into nearby orchards. “Search is still going on,” it said, adding that a “case has been registered and investigated taken up.” 

The police have registered a case and started an investigation regarding the killing. Shopian District Magistrate has also ordered a magisterial inquiry into the matter. “Suitable action under law shall be taken,” he said in a statement.

Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh called the killing of the civilian a sad incident.

“I have all the sympathy with the bereaved family,” he said, reported NDTV, adding that the army has been instructed to not harm civilians at any cost.

However, according to the locals, the army fired at Ganai at a police check post in the Shopian district.“Troops were looking for somebody”, an elderly man, who was witness to the scene, told NDTV. 

“They said someone had escaped. He [Ganai] raised his both arms for a security check but they fired at him. We demand a probe. What’s the safety of people working in fields if a shopkeeper is killed like this.”