Goof-up or lookalike? Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday maintained that the civilian, who accused the police of wrongly posting his picture as a wanted militant, is a "lookalike of elusive top militant commander Qayoom Najar" and issued a certificate clarifying his name.
"It's a case of being lookalike and nothing else. He looks like Najar," Kupwara superintendent of police Ijaz Ahmad Bhat told the Hindustan Times on phone from Kupwara.
Irfan Ahmad Shah (26), a resident of Kupwara, 100 km north of Srinagar, told HT he was shocked to see the police posters, which were pasted on June 16 across Sopore area with two faces of militant commanders.
"My friends spotted the poster on the social networking groups where I was shown as a wanted militant. I went to the local police and they admitted the picture is mine. They clarified it was not intentional," said Shah, who runs a shop.
Wanted militant Najar, whom the police accuse of being behind the fresh wave of attacks in Sopore, including mobile towers, along with Imtiyaz Kandroo, has reward of `10 lakh on his head.
Scared Shah has sought a police certificate clarifying that he is not the wanted militant. "I have a police certificate that mentions I have no affiliation with militant group or the militant," said Shah.
While the police maintain that they will not change the posters in Sopore, Shah claims the photograph resembles the picture taken by him at a tourist park in neighbouring Baramulla town last year.
Meanwhile, deputy inspector general (north Kashmir) Gareeb Das has asked the special investigation team, investigating the Sopore violence, to verify the facts.