Protests in IoK as elderly shot down by Indian forces in front of grandson

July 02, 2020

LAHORE - In a gruesome incident of worst kind reported on the social media that took place in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir an elderly man, accompanied by his three year old grandson , was shot dead by Indian forces in front of the minor. According to the details, the deceased, Bashir Ahmed had gone out of the house to buy groceries when he was caught in the cross-fire in Kashmir’s Sopore district. The relatives of the deceased said Ahmed was taken out of his car and pumped with bullets by Indian soldiers.

The three-year-old boy was later shown sitting on top of his motionless grandfather as he cried. Another video, widely shared on social media showed the boy sitting in the back of a police van and later being led away from the scene. Hundreds of people in occupied Kashmir staged protests against the Indian government. At Ahmed’s funeral, near the main city of Srinagar, they could be heard shouting “We want freedom” from Indian rule.

The incident took place when Indian soldiers were engaged in a gunfight with Kashmiri freedom fighters, the media reports said. The Kashmiri fighters opened fire from a mosque attic in the northern town of Sopore, setting off a battle with security forces, said paramilitary police spokesperson Junaid Khan.

The family of Bashir Ahmed Khan alleged that he was dragged out of his car after the showdown and shot dead by paramilitary troopers.  “Locals said that he [Khan] was brought out of his car and shot dead by the forces,” said Farooq Ahmed, a nephew of the deceased. “They told us that someone in uniform then put the child on his chest as he lay dead on the road and took photographs,” Farooq Ahmed said.

The photo of the child sat on the body of his dead grandfather was widely shared on social media. Paramilitary spokesman Khan said the allegation was “baseless”. Police also denied the claims, saying legal action would be taken for “false reports and rumours”. “There was no retaliation from the security forces,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told reporters.

Relatives and neighbours offer funeral prayers for Bashir Ahmed in Srinagar on July 1. — AFP Government forces have intensified counterinsurgency operations against Kashmiri fighters since a coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March. Since January, at least 229 people have been killed during over 100 military operations across occupied Kashmir, including 32 civilians, 54 government forces and 143 fighters, according to the Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a rights group.

Condemnations pour in

Reacting to the incident, Amnesty India said that officials had violated the law by disclosing the identity of the minor. “It is also a breach of the ‘best interests of the child’ principle as required to be the basis of any action by authorities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which India is a state party.” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the image of the three-year-old sitting on his grandfather’s “lifeless, bullet-ridden body” exposed the real face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “fascist India”.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif also condemned the killing. In a tweet, he said: “Widespread human rights abuses by fascist Modi govt constitute an acid test for the international community.” Tweeting the picture of the deceased’s grandson sitting on his chest, Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said she was “searching for words to describe [...] the grief & helplessness of the Kashmiri people.”

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