JAMMU, Aug 4: In a major security breach, a youth this morning gate-crashed into high-security residence of former Chief Ministers-Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, both of whom are Z Plus security protectees, at Bhatindi on outskirts of the City and ransacked some goods in the house before being gunned down by the para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.
Neither Abdullahs nor their family members were present in the house at the time of incident. While Dr Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference president was on way from New Delhi to Srinagar in view of two-day break in Parliament as he is Lok Sabha member from Srinagar, his son Omar, was in the summer capital.
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“Police have started high-level investigations into the case as the intruder had managed to reach lobby of Abdullahs’ residence and was further trying to go upstairs. However, the youth was unarmed and had no suspicious past,” official sources said.
They identified slain youth as Syeed Murfad Shah, 26, son of Imzad Hussain Shah, a resident of Gulthatha, Mendhar in Poonch district, whose family had shifted to Chinore near Bantalab in 1989 as Imzad was an official in the State Forest Corporation (SFC). The family also owned a gun house. Murfad was a dropout in BA Part-II but was still pursuing his studies.
SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta told the Excelsior that the youth had hit a vehicle at Channi Himmat before reaching the Bhatindi residence of Abdullahs. He said police opted for post-mortem of the youth by the Board of Doctors to get everything cleared.
“We were trying to ascertain motive of the youth, which remained unclear as he was alone in the vehicle and was killed. Even his family members said that they were unaware of his visit anywhere. The family only knew that he had gone to Gym in morning from the house, which was his daily routine,” Gupta said. The youth thrice tried to hit the vehicle of police Inspector Raghubir Sharma at Channi Himmat. Sharma, who is posted in Vigilance Organisation has lodged a report with Channi Himmat police station. CCTV footage obtained by police showed that the youth was driving at the speed of 100 KMPH near Wave Mall.
Giving details of the incident, police sources said Murfad Shah reached Abdullahs’ residence at around 9.55 am in his XUV 500 JK02BW 0568 and hit the vehicle forcefully with the main gate. Before the security personnel could realize the situation, the gate got slightly opened after being hit by the XUV and the youth drove vehicle close to lawn of the house.
A CRPF personnel intercepted the youth near the lawn and tried to overpower him but he threw a flowerpot on him, causing him injuries. The youth reached lobby of the house, where he broke Central table and some goods and then tried to jump stairs to reach upper lobby. The CRPF jawans then took positions and gunned down the intruder.
Getting a report of the incident, SHO Trikuta Nagar Inspector Pervez Sajjad along with police nafri rushed to the spot and cordoned off the building. Senior police officers including IGP Jammu Dr SD Singh Jamwal, SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta and SP South (officiating) Vinay Sharma also reached the site.
Reacting to the incident, Farooq Abdullah told a news agency: “it is very unfortunate that such it an incident has happened and it speaks volumes about the security situation in the State. Police must investigate motive of the youth”.
Immediately after the incident, Omar Abdullah tweeted: “I am aware of the incident that took place at the residence my father & I share in Bhatindi, Jammu. Details are sketchy at the moment. Initial reports suggest an intruder was able to gain entry through the front door & in to the upper lobby of the house. Further details are awaited as the security personnel carry out the anti-sabotage checks & ascertain the background of the person who was able to force his way in to the house”.
While police was busy in searching car of the youth and belongings, if any, in his clothes, some family members of the accused managed to reach the spot and started protesting there. They charged police and CRPF with killing Murfad without any reason saying he could have been easily apprehended.
The family members told reporters that Murfad had gone to attend his Gym in the morning and they were not quite sure how he had reached the residence of Abdullahs.
“Why he was not arrested? He was not carrying any weapon or explosives with him,” they said. Asked whether he was taking any drugs, the relatives said he used to go Gym in the morning and the evening.
Meanwhile, an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain how the intruder managed to reach into the house without being challenged. The house of Abdullahs is guarded by the CRPF in Jammu and BSF in Srinagar. Both of them are Z Plus security protectees.
Police shifted body of the youth to the Government Medical College, Jammu and requested the College authorities to constitute Board of Doctors for the post-mortem, which was conducted late this afternoon. The body has been handed over to the family members.
Family members, relatives and locals gathered at Chinore near the residence of Murfad Shah and blocked road there in protest against killing of the youth and seeking action against the security personnel.
SP Rural Dushyant Sharma said the protesters dispersed peacefully as body of the youth reached Chinore after post-mortem. The burial will be performed tomorrow morning.
A police officer said the youth was listening religious songs in the car, which continued in the vehicle till the car was seized after his killings.
DC Jammu Romesh Kumar tonight ordered a magisterial inquiry into the killing of youth, which will be conducted by SDM North Alyas Khan within 5 weeks.
Meanwhile, National Conference has sought a high level probe by National Investigating Agency (NIA) into the security breach at the residence of the party president and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah at Bhatindi here and circumstances leading to death of a youth.
“As Dr Farooq Abdullah is a Central Government categorized protectee, the Government of India should carry out its independent and impartial inquiry by a team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Provincial spokesperson of National Conference said in a statement, issued here.