"Writing and speaking about the matters where they don't shed light, I'm always on my toes to bring out the untold, unheard stories from the background of Economy and Defense."
A massive controversy broke out in Kashmir and on social media on July 1, after a civilian from Srinagar lost his life as he was caught in the exchange of fire between the security forces and the terrorists in north Kashmir's Sopore region.
The victim was identified as Bashir Ahmed, a 65-year-old man who worked as a civil contractor and was accompanied by his three-year-old grandson at the time of the encounter.
A CRPF personnel also lost his life in the attack.
While Ahmed's family has released a video on social media, accusing Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel of pulling him out of his car and shooting him, the Jammu & Kashmir Police has denied any such claims and maintained that he died in the exchange of fire with the terrorists.
The news surfaced on some social networking sites that the civilian was brought down and killed is totally baseless and is far beyond the facts, Sopore Police refutes and denies the news and legal action shall be initiated against the false reports and rumours @KashmirPolice— Sopore Police (@SoporePolice) July 1, 2020
Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar on Wednesday, said that the family's accusations against the CRPF were driven by threats issued to them by the terrorists.
The police in Sopore has also warned of strict legal action against those who perpetuate the "false reports and rumours" that the civilian was shot down by security forces.
Soon after Ahmed's death, images of his grandson from the site of attack flooded social media, which also included a heartbreaking photo showing the child sitting on top of his grandfather's corpse whose clothes are stained with blood.
Several top police officers of the J&K Police and the official twitter handle of Kashmir zone police force also tweeted the image of the child being rescued from the site of the encounter. This backfired at the force and triggered anger amongst the public as it disclosed the minor witness' identity, which is seen as a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.
By disclosing the identity of a minor witness of a crime, Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) stands in violation of Article 74 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015. pic.twitter.com/brwzH7wPuc— Amnesty India (@AIIndia) July 1, 2020
Kumar, however, said that the photos may have been clicked by security personnel, and assured that whoever clicked them would face action.
Yes, pictures have been taken. But who took the pictures is a matter of the investigation," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sopore Javaid Iqbal said.
#WATCH Jammu & Kashmir Police console a 3-year-old child after they rescued him during a terrorist attack in Sopore, take him to his mother. The child was sitting beside his dead relative during the attack. pic.twitter.com/znuGKizACh— ANI (@ANI) July 1, 2020
Many social media users also slammed a video that showed a security personnel standing over Ahmed's dead body.
The victim's wife claimed that her 3-year-old grandson was forced to sit on the corpse of her husband. Khan's daughter claimed that her father had gone to the bank to cash a cheque and was dragged out of his car and shot while he was on his way.
Soon after the images and videos went viral on social media, netizens questioned the logic of filming a video of the child when he had just witnessed a horrific incident. Questions were also raised as to who clicked the pictures when the CRPF personnel claimed that at the time of the attack, there were no photojournalists present at the spot.
Shameful.. Using a 3 year old for propaganda. Complete lack of a conscience.— Ak (@iAkSant) July 1, 2020
What the hell..why you record ?— Deepak 🇮🇳 (@_deepak_verma) July 1, 2020
Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah also expressed anger over police's "broadcast" of the young boy's misery.
"We would have expected no less from the men in uniform than to rescue the young boy and for that they have our gratitude, but we would expect better than for them to film and use a three-year-old's pain the way it's being done today," he said.
Thank you for subscribing.
We have sent you a confirmation email.