Hurriyat (M) chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Sunday said that the army killed a “poor” taxi driver from north Kashmir’s Kupwara district in “cold blood”, a charge denied by the army.
In a tweet, Mirwaiz said that the “poor taxi driver was killed by the army while taking an ailing patient to a hospital.”
“Asif Iqbal a poor taxi driver from Kupwara killed in Cold Blood by Army while taking an Ailing patient to hospital & then labelled as a case of “mistaken identity” by the killers! How long will R (our) blood be spilled mercilessly with impunity? we r (are) not even allowed to protest such barbarism!” he tweeted.
However,, army said that Iqbal was killed in cross-fire with militants in Thandipora village late last night during an ambush placed after information about the movement of militants.
“At around 2255 hours, ambush party observed suspicious movement of three persons near nallah in Thindpura village. The individuals were challenged by troops, however, they did not respond,” said a spokesman.
Thereafter, he said, militants opened fire towards army ambush party, which was retaliated to. “In the crossfire, one person, later identified as Asif Iqbal Bhat, s/o Mohd Iqbal Bhat, resident of Thindpura was killed due to Gunshot wound. It is learnt that he was a sumo taxi driver,” he said.
The spokesman said that investigations are in progress.