In a case of mistaken identity, Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) personnel shot dead a 25-year-old youth, suspecting him to be a Naxalite, in Sringeri in the wee hours on Saturday. The victim was identified as Kabeer of Jokatte.
Rafeeq, a resident of Krishnapur, told mediapersons that he and four others, including Pramod, Shekabba, Safraz and Kabeer, were transporting cattle in a pickup jeep from Thirthahalli to Mangalore.
“On reaching the Sringeri checkpost at around 3 am, driver Pramod and I got down to show our documents. Around six people standing at the check-post wearing green fatigues were keenly watching us. Suddenly we heard gunshots, and without looking back, we fled.
“On reaching Mangalore, I headed to North MLA Moideen Bava’s house. Later, we were informed that Kabeer was killed in the firing,” he said. Rafeeq added that he was clueless about the whereabouts of his companions.
Meanwhile, residents of Krishnapur staged a protest condemning the incident. They said stringent action should be taken against the ANF and proper compensation should be provided to the victim’s family. Bava promised to meet the Chief Minister and Home Minister and ask for a detailed probe into the case.
DYFI state president Muneer Katipalla urged the government to hand over the case to the CBI. Katipalla charged that in previous encounters like the one at Menasina Haadya and Charu forest in Subrahmanya also no inquiry was ordered against the ANF.
“If the victim’s family does not get justice, the DYFI will protest,” he warned.