Civilian Killed In CRPF Firing In J&K

18 March 2009
The Hindu

Srinagar: A 35-year old carpenter was killed on Wednesday in alleged unprovoked firing by paramilitary troopers at a village in southern Jammu and Kashmir, witnesses said, but security forces maintain they had fired in retaliation after coming under heavy fire from militants. Villagers alleged that Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Malik was shot dead by the troopers of the 181 battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Kheegam village, in Pulwama district, 50 km from here. The CRPF personnel were on an evening patrol in the village. 'Malik tried to run away on seeing the patrol party. The troops opened fire at him. He died on the spot,' a police officer said. But the villagers claimed the CRPF troopers opened fire at the carpenter without any provocation. CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi told IANS: 'A CRPF patrol had gone to the village for searches on specific information about the presence of militants. The patrol was fired upon by militants and they returned the fire. The body of one person was recovered from the spot.' The killing triggered panic and tension in the village and senior police and paramilitary officials visited the spot. The civilian death comes on a day when union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who was on a day-long visit to the State, assured action against the troopers found guilty of killing two youths of Bomai village in in northern J&K on February 21.