Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pulwama youth killed in crossfire

Family alleges Mushtaq was used as ‘human shield
Srinagar, Jan 24: The killing of 30-year old Mushtaq Ahmad Mir, who was allegedly used as a ‘human shield’ by the army to locate two Hizbul Mujahideen militants in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district sparked massive protests on Sunday. According to locals, on Saturday evening they were told by army that two HM militants had taken refuge in the house of Mushtaq Ahmad Mir at Kalampore, Shadimarg in Pulwama district. “Army and SOG men cordoned off the area and encircled some houses,” said a local Afzal Ahmad. Ghulam Ahmad Mir father of slain youth, who is also the village head (numberdar), said his son was living in a separate house. “No militants were present in our houses and despite the fact my and Mushtaq’s house were sealed by the army and police men,” he said. Mushtaq’s brother, Muhammad Ayoub Mir said they were asked to vacate the house by army and police men at 7.30 pm Saturday. “My brother was taken away by army men to locate the militants, whom we had not seen. He was also provided a torch,” said Ayoub adding, “We heard some bullet shots in the cow-shed. My brother was hit by the bullets and died on spot”. Mushtaq’s father alleged that his son (father of three) was used as a human shield by the troopers. “Who will take care of his widow? She is already suffering from tumour. Who will feed her three children including a daughter?” Mir screamed. As the news of Mushtaq’s killing spread, people in hundreds irrespective of age and sex came out on roads at Kalampore on Sunday morning to protest the killing. Chanting anti-army and pro freedom slogans, the protestors were demanding immediate punishment to the guilty troopers, who used Mushtaq as human shield. Later, Mushtaq’s body was buried at a local graveyard. Hundreds of people participated in his Nimaz-e-Jinaza amidst pro-freedom and pro-Islamic slogans.

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