A civilian was killed after a Central Reserve Police Force soldier fired at him near Narbal in Jammu and Kashmir’s Budgam district on Wednesday morning. The CRPF said the soldier fired at the man as he feared “a sabotage”.

The CRPF identified the deceased as Peer Mehrajudin, the son of Ghulam Nabi, and a resident of Makhama village in Beerwah Budgam.

The man allegedly broke one checkpoint and was speeding. The CRPF jawan shot at the man when he tried to jump another checkpoint. “A convoy of Army, at that point in time, was passing through the adjacent road and fearing a sabotage, the CRPF jawan of C/141, manning this Naka, fired warning shots,” said the CRPF. “This civil car was driving in the wrong direction of the road and that was even more alarming. When the car didn’t stop, despite warning shots, the jawan fired at the car and in turn, the driver was hit on his left shoulder.”

He was shifted to SHMS hospital in Srinagar, where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

However, reports said that several bullets hit him in the shoulder and the chest.

Budgam Senior Superintendent of Police Nagpure Amod confirmed the killing. “A civil vehicle fled from two nakas in Narbal Kawoosa,” he told Kashmir Observer. “Upon which CRPF party fired in which one person got injured. [He has been] shifted to hospital. Further details awaited.”

Political parties condemn incident

Political parties in Kashmir condemned the killing of Mehrajudin and called for an impartial inquiry. The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said the firing could have been avoided, PTI reported. “The loss of innocent lives has the potential to lead to further alienation of the people,” the party said, demanding a probe into the circumstances that led to the killing of the civilian.

The Peoples Democratic Party said that shooting a civilian dead cannot be how a democracy operates. “Eagerness of few trigger happy individuals to replicate Delhi Police model of destruction and violence in Budgam is detestable. An enquiry should be initiated and guilty taken to task,” the party said in a tweet.

National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah termed the incident “very unfortunate”. He said the circumstances surrounding the shooting should be impartially investigated and the findings must be publicised.