Sopore Again: Another Ex-militant Shot Dead

15 June 2015
Greater Kashmir
Shabir ibn Yusuf

Srinagar: Unidentified gunmen Monday struck in Sopore Tehsil of north Kashmir's Baramulla district again, killing another former militant in the area, police said. This is the sixth killing in Sopore in the past three weeks, with police now constituting a Special Investigation Team to probe the 'killing spree'. Police identified the slain person as Aijaz Ahmad Reshi (39) son of Abdur Rahim of Mundji-12 kms from Sopore town. 'Two persons appeared at shop-cum-residence of Reshi this morning. They opened fire on him with a pistol from point blank range. Two bullets hit on his head,' a senior police official said. 'Reshi was rushed to Sub-District Hospital Sopore where doctors declared him as brought dead.' The official said Reshi was a former militant of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen outfit. 'He has spent some five years in jail and was now helping the family with a small business,' he said. 'The slain person is father of five daughters.' The fresh killing took place barely 24 hours after unidentified gunmen killed Mehraj-ud-din-Dar, a former militant who ran a poultry shop, in Badamibagh area of Sopore. In the past three weeks, six people have been killed by unidentified gunmen in the north Kashmir area. The police official said soon after the incident, locals tried to catch hold of unidentified gunmen. 'However, they opened fire with a pistol and fled from the scene,' he said. The official said a stray dog chased the killers of Reshi. 'One of the assailants fired and killed the dog on spot. We have reports that the dog caused injury to one of the assailants minutes after they shot at Reshi,' he said. 'We are conducting raids at clinics to locate the injured person.' A report from the area said residents pelted stones on police. 'As the police party reached the spot, people hurled stones on them. The people also chanted anti-government slogans.' Soon after the incident, authorities announced closure of all government and private schools in Mundji and its adjoining areas. As the news of Reshi's killing spread, Sopore town observed a complete shutdown, demanding immediate arrest of those behind the 'killing spree'. The killing also triggered protest demonstration in Baramulla town. Reports said hundreds of youth took to streets and protested against the killing spree in Sopore. Baramulla town observed a shutdown against the killing. The protesting youths, reports said, damaged several vehicles on Tehsil road including a police water carrier. As the protesters increased in number, police swung into action and lobbed several tear gas shells to disperse them. The agitating youths were later pushed towards Cement Bridge in the town where clashes between police and continued for some time. SECURITY MEET HELD Police said to avoid further killings in Sopore, security forces have 'decided to take concrete measures.' 'A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to inquire into the killings,' sources said. The decision to constitute SIT was taken at high-level meeting at Sopore on Monday which was co-chaired by Director General of Police, K Rajender Kumar and General Officer Commanding 15 corps, Lt General Subrata Saha. According to a police official, who was part of meeting, more Army and police will be deployed in Sopore to 'tackle' the situation. The official said Police was asked to carry out raids and arrest the suspects quickly. 'We took certain measures to avoid further killings. We also formed a SIT to inquire into the killings,' Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, SJM Gillani told Greater Kashmir. 'SDPO has been assigned the job to investigate the killings.'