I n Kashmir’s Sopore, a three-year-old child was caught in the middle of a firefight between Central Reserve Police Force jawans and police on one side and two militants on the other on Wednesday. The encounter claimed the life of the three-year-old’s grandfather and one CRPF constable. Fortunately, the three-year-old was removed from the crossfire reportedly by CRPF personnel and taken to safety. Photos of the boy’s ordeal have gone viral on social media, with his trauma captured by cameras every step of the way.lang="en" dir="ltr">The photograph from Sopore, of a 3-year-old and his slain grandfather has led to outrage on social media. But there are many unanswered questions about the photograph that we in the media need to ask. Who took it? Who shared it? Why? @newslaundry https://t.co/TVG4otZFXT
— Kalpana Sharma (@kalpana1947) July 2, 2020
The boy is now with his family. An ANI report identified the jawan who rescued him as Pawan Kumar Choubey.
Meet the CRPF jawan who rescued 3 year-old in Sopore encounter
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) July 1, 2020
According to the report, Choubey has been serving in Jammu and Kashmir since 2016, and joined the force in 2010. He formerly served in the 203 CoBRA Battalion as a commando trained in anti-Naxal operations. After fulfilling his duties, he was transferred to CRPF’s 179 Battalion to serve in Jammu and Kashmir. When terrorists began firing at the CRPF and police in Sopore, Choubey saw the child sitting by his grandfather’s body. He approached the child, took cover, and beckoned him to safety, according to the report.
The Sopore encounter is currently surrounded by controversy. Some reports claim that the child’s grandfather was killed by the police, and not militants, citing family members’ accounts. This version of events has been denied by the police.
The news surfaced on some social networking sites that the civilian was brought down and killed is totally baseless and is far beyond the facts, Sopore Police refutes and denies the news and legal action shall be initiated against the false reports and rumours @KashmirPolice
— Sopore Police (@SoporePolice) July 1, 2020
While the political jockeying for control of the Sopore encounter’s narrative continues, the only silver lining is that at least one innocent life was saved. And CRPF’s Pawan Kumar Choubey was the man able to make that happen.