Man killed after he tries to enter Budgam IAF base

SRINAGAR: A 60-year-old mentally challenged man was shot dead by security forces outside the Budgam Air Force station after he ignored warnings and tried to enter the high-security zone, the police said.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 19

A 60-year-old mentally challenged man was shot dead by security forces outside the Budgam Air Force station after he ignored warnings and tried to enter the high-security zone, the police said.

The man was identified as Syed Habibullah, a resident of Soibugh village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. His killing triggered a shutdown in the area.

A police spokesman in Srinagar said a man tried to enter the high-security zone at the Indian Air Force (IAF) station around midnight.

“He crossed the security fence and came close to the station perimeter wall. Despite repeated warnings from the sentry, he did not stop. The sentry fired some warning shots in the air but he did not stop. The sentry fired towards him,” the spokesman said.

Later, the J&K Police reached the spot and found the body of the elderly man. The slain was not wearing footwear and had no identity card. The J&K Police have registered a case.

His identity was established by one of his family members on Monday morning when his pictures surfaced on the social media. The incident occurred around 12 km from his home.

Mushtaq Ahmed, a nephew of the slain, said his uncle left the home at around 6.20 pm on Sunday to offer prayers at the local mosque.“He did not return home,” Ahmed said.

The mentally challenged man is survived by five sons and a daughter.

The killing of the elderly man took place at a time when militants have stepped up attacks against the security forces. On February 10, a group of fidayeen stormed the Sunjuwan Army camp in Jammu that left six soldiers, a civilian and three militants dead. Two days later, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) foiled a fidayeen attack in Srinagar’s Karan Nagar locality on their camp. In the gunfight, two militants and a CRPF man were killed.

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