Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday gunned for north Kashmir Bandipora's superintendent of police as the killing of a youth recently continue to simmer the situation with polls round the corner.
Yasir Reshi, PDP's Sonawari district president, alleged SP Bandipora Muhammad Shafi Mir has been posted in the area ahead of polls with "a design".
"Mir is the junior most police officer to head a very sensitive posting of Bandipora district. Since his posting, the situation has been brewing. It seems he has been posted in the area to harass the political opponents of the National Conference only," alleged Reshi.
SP Mir, posted in the district a few months ago, saw himself in a major controversy when an 18-year-old youth, Farhat Ahmad Dar, was hit by bullets during a clash between police and protesters after Friday prayers on March 14. The death came after a long lull in the Valley that witnessed no civilian killing in any street protest.
The killing was followed by four-day curfew where locals alleged excesses by the police.
The PDP accuses SP Mir of transferring senior police officers during his short stint. "We have reports that he transferred three SHOs who defied his diktats to carry out work for a particular political party," alleged Reshi.
When contacted, Mir hanged up his phone after figuring out the call was from a newspaper.The police have booked several youth under several charges for the March 14 incident. Many youth face charges like attempt to murder.
"One should not take police charge-sheet as final verdict. They will have to prove their charges in the court. We will ensure justice is done in the case," said ruling NC's spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu.
The district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing following the allegations by the locals that the youth was shot at from a close range. However, the police maintain the youth was hit by bullets when the policemen, caught amidst protesters attempting to set afire their vehicle, resorted to aerial firing.
The assembly constituency of Sonawari, where the incident took place, witnessed highest ever poll percentage of 59.64 in the 2008 polls.
Despite the high poll percentage in the previous year, no major political party, PDP or NC, has started any major rally in the area following the killing, which will give a handle to separatists and their supporters to push for a boycott in the area.
Fearing separatists' backlash, ruling NC's local MLA Akbar Lone also blamed the police for the killing and promised justice.
"Dar was killed in the excessive use of force by the police. I won't hesitate, even if I will have to resign to ensure punishment to the guilty cops," said Lone, also state higher education minister.
NC spokesman Mattu, however, ruled out the affect of the killing on the polls. "I don't see any impact of the unfortunate death. NC is bound to win by a huge margin," he said.
Meanwhile, deputy inspector general of police Ghulam Hassan Bhat denied the media reports that the police have charged slain Dar with attempt to murder.
"He (Dar) is not figuring in the list of people against whom charges have been filed (by the police)," Bhat told the Hindustan Times.