Jammu and Kashmir Police has told the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) that a youth killed during a search operation in Noorbagh area of Qamarwari earlier this year was hit by a bullet fired by the militants.

In its reply submitted to the SHRC, the police said that Muhammad Saleem Malik of Bagwanpora Noorbagh was hit by a bullet fired by the militants while they were trying to escape from the spot on September 27.

The report submitted by the SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail before the commission came in response to a petition filed by chairman international forum for Justice and Human Rights Muhammad Ahsan Untoo under case number SHRC/331/Sgr/2018 dated September 28, 2018.

“During the course of investigation, while as cordon was laid, it was found that the militants opened fire indiscriminately during night hours and took advantage of darkness to flee from the spot. In their firing, Muhammad Saleem Malik of Bagwanpora, Noorbagh Safakadal sustained injuries and succumbed,” read the report.”

“The investigation officer found five empty cartridges from the spot,” added the report. “The investigation is going on.”

The petitioned has, however, criticised the police claim, asking how they could say that Saleem was killed in militant firing.

“Had the bullet that killed Saleem name of militants written it? Is there any scientific evidence that militant bullet killed Saleem,” he asked.

The petitioner said that every time when there is a militant killing, police blames militants without presenting any substantial proof.

The petitioner has urged the SHRC to hold a high level probe into the killing of Saleem and to grant compensation to the next of kin of family members of the slain. (With inputs from KNS)