SRINAGAR: A CRPF jawan and a civilian were killed Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town in Baramulla district on Wednesday after terrorists hiding inside a mosque opened fire at a CRPF patrol team. A heartbreaking picture of the grandson of the deceased civilian attempting to wake him up, while he lay dead on the road, went viral on social media.
The three-year-old narrowly escaped the hail of bullets and was rescued by security forces, officials said.
Two LeT militants fired on the CRPF party when they were deboarding at around 7.30 am for the routine Naka duty, said IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar. The CRPF personnel returned fire but the terrorists managed
to flee from the area, the officials said.
As people scurried for cover, 60-year-old Bashir Khan who was travelling with his grandson in his car abandoned the vehicle and made an attempt to run for safety but was killed, officials said. CRPF Head Constable Deep Chand Verma was killed in the incident while three jawans were injured.
While his body lay on the ground, his grandson was pictured is sitting on his side and trying to wake him up. When CRPF personnel saw the toddler crying next to his grandfather’s body, they rescued him and later handed him to his family.
Jammu and Kashmir Police later shared a picture of the child being carried by a security officer on Twitter. In a video shot in police vehicle, the boy was seen sobbing as biscuits and chocolates were offered to him.
However, the family members of Khan alleged that he was dragged out of the vehicle and shot dead by the security forces.
J&K police and CRPF rejected the charge. “His family was not on the spot. So, how can they level such baseless allegations. He was hit by the bullets coming from the same side where from our CRPF jawans were also hit,” the CRPF spokesman said.
118 militants killed this year so far
At leaset 118 militants have been killed in encounters with security forces in Kashmir so far this year while 67 youth joined the militant ranks during the same period, police said on Wednesday. IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that 107 were locals and 11 foreign militants were killed in encounters from January 1 to June 30. 121 weapons including 62 AK-47 rifles, nine SLRs were also recovered.