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A civilian was killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam district on Wednesday morning after a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel fired at his vehicle after the man jumped two checkpoints.
The security personnel feared "a sabotage" and fired at the vehicle.
The deceased was identified as Peer Mehrajudin and a resident of Makhama village in Beerwah Budgam.
The death of Peer Mehrajudin has triggered massive protests that led to the suspension of mobile internet services in the area. Local residents alleged that the CRFF opened fire at Mehrajudin without any reason.
Ghulam Nabi, the father of Mehrajudin, said: "I received a call from my neighbour that my son had been injured. He had left his house with his uncle in the morning and was shot dead while on way to work."
Nabi, a retired government employee said that he had no information as to why his son was killed without any reason. "In the morning, he left his house for work and hours later, his body arrived at our house. This is inhuman," Nabi said.
Several locals gathered at Mehrajudin's house and shouted slogans against his death.
"If this young man had jumped the checkpoint, as the CRPF is saying, why didn't they fire at the tyres of his vehicle? Was it necessary to kill him?" his neighbour Bashir Ahmad said.
Local residents too said that Mehrajudin's uncle had witnessed the unfortunate incident as he was with him in the car when the CRPF personnel opened fire. The uncle was, however, taken by police.
CRPF spokesman Pankaj Singh said that Mehrajudin's vehicle broke through a checkpoint of Jammu and Kashmir Police at 10.20 am. The vehicle approached another checkpoint manned by the CRPF and jumped that one too, he said.
"At that time, a convoy of the army was passing through an adjacent road and, fearing sabotage, the CRPF jawan manning the checkpoint fired warning shots. The car was driving in the wrong direction of the road and that was even more alarming," Singh added.
"When the car didn't stop despite the warning shots, the jawan fired at the car and the driver was hit on his left shoulder. He was shifted to SHMS Hospital in Srinagar, where he was declared brought dead by doctors."
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah referred to 'Mehrajudin's death as unfortunate and demanded an impartial investigation.
Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party leader and former minister Ghulam Hassan Mir condemned the incident and demanded a time-bound probe into it. He also said the excessive use of force in implementing the nationwide lockdown is unjustified.
"There are no words to express our grief over this avoidable loss of precious life," he added.
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