‘I confronted CRPF trooper after he shot my nephew’, says eyewitness to Wednesday’s killing
Family of the deceased youth who was shot dead by paramilitary forces in Budgam on Wednesday, May 13 2020 - Photo: KM/Umar Ganie
Srinagar: Uncle of the 22-year-old-youth who was shot dead by CRPF in Narbal, Budgam on Wednesday morning says he confronted the trooper after his nephew was fired at even as he trashed the official version that the slain tried to jump a checkpoint.
Ghulam Hassan Shah, who himself is a police officer, said his nephew Merajuddin Shah was driving him in his Wagon-R vehicle to Police Control Room Srinagar, where Shah is currently posted, when the incident took place.
“As we reached Kawoosa village checkpoint near Narbal, a J&K police cop asked us to stop the car. We did. I showed him my identity card and asked him to let us go. He signalled the CRPF man around 15 yards ahead of us. The trooper cocked his gun and shot through the front windshield hitting Meraj in his shoulder,” Shah told The Kashmir Monitor.
Contrary to the official version, Shah confirmed that the vehicle was stationary when the trooper shot his nephew.
Injured Meraj who was in the driver’s seat pleaded his uncle to take him to a hospital immediately as he was losing a lot of blood.
“I was trying to plug his wound to stop the blood flow. Then I went out of the vehicle and confronted the CRPF man who had opened fire. I asked him ‘you have murdered him and now you are not even helping me arrange a vehicle to take him to a hospital’,” he told The Kashmir Monitor.
Eventually, as Meraj was losing blood and consciousness, a doctor in another car picked him up and drove him to SMHS hospital Srinagar, where he was declared brought dead, Shah added.
Asked how come police came up with a statement that the slain had tried to “jump two checkpoints” when Shah himself was a cop and a witness to it, he said: “I did tell my seniors in the department that whatever they had said was wrong. Why would we jump a naka? Our car was at halt when my nephew was shot at.”
Meraj’s body was handed over to the family in the evening and he was buried at the local graveyard in Makhama Beerwah, Shah added.
As per him, Meraj was running a Khidmat Centre locally and was the youngest of the seven siblings.
He had passed class 12 exams last year.
His father Ghulam Mohammad Shah is a retired employee of power development department while one of his elder brothers is working as a selection-grade constable in J&K police.
Police said the slain “jumped two check points and ignored warning shots, prompting forces personnel to open fire”. Here is the statement published verbatim:
Today, at about 1020 hours a civil vehicle, Wagon R, registration no JK02AK 6702 broke a Check point of J&K police and sped and came across another Check point of CRPF, manned by troops of C/141 Bn CRPF and jumped this Check point as well.
A convoy of Army, at that point in time, was passing through the adjacent road and fearing a sabotage, the CRPF jawan of C/141, manning this Naka, fired warning shots.
This civil car was driving in the wrong direction of the road and that was even more alarming. When the car didn’t stop, despite warning shots, the jawan fired at the car and in turn, the driver was hit on his left shoulder.
Subsequently, he was shifted to SMHS hospital, Srinagar, where, he was declared as brought dead by the doctors