Srinagar bypoll violence: ITBP denies jawan shooting boy at point-blank range

The J-K Police had filed an FIR last week after the killing of a protestor allegedly by an ITBP trooper, who fired at a stone-pelter in Budgam during the Srinagar bypoll.

The Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in its initial report to the Ministry of Home Affairs denied that its paratrooper was involved in the killing of a stone-pelter at point-blank range in Budgam on April 9. The Jammu and Kashmir Police had filed an FIR last week after the killing of a protestor allegedly by an ITBP trooper, who fired at a stone-pelter in Budgam area resulting in the death of the youth during Sunday's bypoll. The incident sparked massive outrage.

The force is filing its reply based on a factual report sought by the headquarters from its company commanders after the incident came to light. The report states that ITBP was deployed in 27 places across the state. In 14 locations, ITBP was forced to open fire. The troops fired as many as 500 rounds to prevent assault on polling booths.

The video shot from inside a security vehicle shows that a clear shot was taken. According to a source the area also saw a deployment of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Border Security Force (BSF), besides ITBP, and hence is unfair to blame the latter.

The force reached four days before the polls but were deployed only on the last day. The ITBP troopers said that they were surrounded by a hostile group consisting 600-800 people after which they had to fire in the air in at least 14 booths.

While the ITBP sources said that they are not on the back-foot as there is no FIR registered against them, sources in Jammu and Kashmir Police said that a general FIR has been filed which does not name ITBP but the investigation is underway.

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