Srinagar, March 20: A Kashmir teenager’s killing by suspected militants inside a mosque last night has prompted Omar Abdullah to accuse rival legislators of ignoring their atrocities while raising a storm over security forces’ alleged abuses.
The chief minister’s outrage in the Assembly today at the death of Sopore’s Suhail Ahmad Sofi, 18, came days after Jammu legislators criticised their Valley counterparts for alleged selective criticism following the killing of five CRPF jawans in a fidayeen attack.
“If this kind of killing had been committed by security forces, they (MLAs) would have torn out their clothes, castigated the country and asked me to give answers…. Had this incident taken place at the hands of security forces, these members would have pulled out the mikes, broken the tables and created a hue and cry in the Assembly,” Omar said, alluding to People’s Democratic Party legislators.
Police suspect the Lashkar-e-Toiba’s hand in the murder of Sofi, who was first fired on by militants around 9.45pm last night while he was sitting with a friend near a mosque in Sopore’s Doabgah village.
“He escaped the bullets and ran towards the mosque where he hid in the hamam (a section of the mosque). One of the militants chased him into the mosque and pumped five bullets into him. He died on the spot. Preliminary investigation reveals the militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba killed him,” a police spokesperson said.
A congregation was going on in the mosque when Suhail was gunned down, the police added. It is not clear why the teenager was killed.
At the Assembly in Jammu, Omar cited the killing to hit back at rivals who have vociferously raised alleged rights abuses by security forces. A youth was shot dead when protesters stoned a vehicle ferrying CRPF jawans returning after donating blood to colleagues injured in last week’s fidayeen attack.
Killing of innocents, by troops or militants, should be condemned equally and discrimination by House members is unjustified, Omar said, adding it amounts to a lopsided approach aimed at appeasement. “Militants chase an 18-year-old boy into a mosque and shoot him. Imagine the outrage if this had been done by security forces #hypocrisy,” Omar later tweeted.
Last week, Jammu MLAs had criticised Omar and other Valley leaders for allegedly “glorifying terrorists” while expressing “little concern” for the deaths of security personnel at hands of militants.