A day after three members of a family received bullets in a protest against alleged highhandedness of CRPF personnel, the government on Friday closed down the paramilitary camp in Srinagar’s Soura area.
This is for the first time sine June 11 that the state government put its foot down and heeded to locals' demand to close a camp, next to a shrine, addressing a long running demand of the neighbouring population. On Thursday, the CRPF personnel stationed at the camp allegedly opened fire at a demonstration and critically injured three members of a family.
“It’s true a camp was relocated from the area. We moved overnight,” CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi told the Hindustan Times.
The CRPF said its personnel fired in self defence on Thursday. “The mob attacked the CRPF bunkers. In return, we opened fire in the air to disperse the mob,” said Tripathi.
Three members of a family were hit by bullets fired by the paramilitary. The injured were identified as Habibullah Tiploo, his daughter Sumeera and the daughter-in-law Fatima by the locals. Sumeera was hit in her back and has undergone a surgery at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences. The doctors say she was in a stable condition now.
The local residents, however, alleged the troops fired without any provocation. “A small mob was protesting peacefully and pelted stones. But the CRPF not only opened fire and barged into the crowded locality to target people,” said Arif Ahmad, a Soura resident.
Ahmad alleged the CRPF fired from a close range at the family members of Tiploo family.
Spread over 500 square metres, CRPF’s 158 Battalion had a platoon post at Soura for the past 15 years. Over the past three years, there were allegations by the locals that the CRPF and the J-K police personnel for cramping the freedom of the people and indulging in human rights violation, turning the whole population hostile.