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Rediff.com  » News » 4 bullets fired at J-K ex-SSP, 'reham' his last word, say family members

4 bullets fired at J-K ex-SSP, 'reham' his last word, say family members

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
Last updated on: December 24, 2023 22:50 IST
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A 72-year-old retired police officer and local "muezzin", Mohammad Shafi Mir, was shot dead by terrorists on Sunday morning while he was giving a call for azaan from a mosque in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, leaving the community in shock.

IMAGE: People carry the body of ex-police officer Muhammad Shafi Mir who was killed by terrorists inside a mosque, in Baramulla district, Jammu and Kashmir, December 24, 2023. Photograph: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com

According to Mir's cousin Mohammad Mustafa, who was present at home during the incident, the call for pre-dawn prayers was being given through a loudspeaker when it abruptly stopped.

 

Mir's last words were reham (mercy), Mustafa recalled.

The azaan had stopped at the phrase Ashhadu Anna Mohammadu Rasool-Allah (I bear witness that Mohammad is the messenger of Allah).

The police officials stated that Mir, who retired as a senior superintendent of police in 2012, was shot inside the mosque located in the Gantmulla locality of Sheeri area.

"Terrorists fired upon Shri Mohd Shafi, a retired police officer, at Gantmulla, Sheeri Baramulla, while praying 'azaan' in the mosque and succumbed to injuries," the Kashmir zone police said.

The police are also looking into the possibility of personal animosity as the deceased was shot with a .12 bore gun, the officials said.

Mir's family members described him as a dedicated individual who had taken up the role of the local "muezzin" and faithfully carried out his duties at the mosque.

After the incident, a large number of people gathered at Mir's house and at the mosque complex to pay their respects. He is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.

Mustafa, speaking to reporters, shared his account of the incident, stating, "He (Mir) was my cousin. He used to call for prayers every day. This morning, while I was reading the Quran, as usual, he started the azaan, so I closed the Quran."

He added, "My cousin recited 'Ashhadu Anna Mohammadu Rasool-Allah', and then the azaan stopped. I only heard a shout of reham (mercy). It was in a heavy voice."

Mustafa said he initially thought Mir might have stopped his call due to some other reason and guessed he could have collapsed due to dizziness. But it was later revealed that Mir was shot, he said.

Relatives of Mir claimed that he had been shot four times. His younger brother, Abdul Kareem, who was awakened by the sounds, believed they were caused by a technical issue with the microphone.

"My daughter-in-law said she heard people crying," he added.

Kareem also said that Mir used to give the call for azaan every day and suspected that the incident had been planned, as the prayer leader would be absent on Saturday and returned on Sunday.

J-K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the terror attack and conveyed his deep sympathies to the Mir's family.

In a post on X, the Lt Governor said: "Pained beyond words on the dastardly terrorist attack on retired police officer, Shri Mohammad Shafi Mir while he was giving a call for prayer in the mosque. Cowards responsible for this barbaric act will not be spared. My condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of grief".

Political parties expressed their strong condemnation of the killing and offered condolences to the family of the former police officer.

The National Conference stated in a post on X, "JKNC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah and VP @OmarAbdullah express profound sadness over the tragic Baramulla incident, where retired SP Mohammad Shafi was senselessly shot dead."

Mehbooba Mufti, president of the Peoples Democratic Party, expressed her concern over the loss of innocent lives, stating, "Innocent people have become collateral damage to maintain the facade of normalcy touted by the Centre."

The Bharatiya Janata Party condemned the act as dastardly and emphasised that terror and terrorists have no religion.

The party's spokesperson in Kashmir, Altaf Thakur, stated, "Dastardly act of killing of a 72-year-old retired police officer by those who have no religion. The sons of the devil can't even tolerate azaan... Terror and terrorists have no religion."

Democratic Progressive Azad Party chief Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government must take decisive measures to crack down on terrorism.

"Alarmed by the rising terrorist attacks in J&K. The killing of the ex-SSP Mohd Shafi Mir in Baramulla is condemnable. Urgent action is needed. The government must take decisive measures to crack down on terrorism and ensure the safety of all citizens!" he said on X.

Altaf Bukhari, chief of Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, expressed his condolences and condemned the cowardly act.

Sajad Lone, president of the Peoples Conference, joined in condemning the killing and expressed his condolences to Mir's family. He emphasised the importance of evaluating security threats based on objective analysis rather than personal biases.

Separatist Hurriyat Conference, led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, also expressed pain and sorrow at the ex-cop's killing.

The Hurriyat expressed sympathy and condolences to the bereaved family. In a statement, it said such killings are a blot on humanity and only bring disgrace to the people and place where they are committed.

The killing of Mir has shaken the local community, and authorities are conducting an investigation to bring the culprits to justice.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.