Man shot dead at high security Abdullah house in strange incident, probe ordered

Zafar Choudhary. Updated: 8/5/2018 1:10:46 AM Front Page

Gatecrash: Family, NC question Police claim; damages to vehicle, gate ‘cosmetic’


JAMMU: A 26-year-old youth, identified as Syed Murfad Shah, was shot dead by CRPF troopers early Saturday morning after he allegedly gate crashed into high security private residence of former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah in the uphill Bathindi suburb of this winter capital city.
Murfad sustained three bullet shots in his chest.
The incident happened at around 9:50am and in next 20-30 minutes it was being reported live by scores of digital media outlets. Inspector General of Police in Jammu SD Jamwal admitted to serious breach of security but ruled out any terrorism angle into incident as the alleged intruder was not armed and nothing suspicious has been found in his vehicle.
The incident has raised serious concerns about the security details as the National Conference leaders, Farooq and Omar, are two of the highly protected persons in the country. The National Conference has critically questioned the Police claims of gatecrash invited attention to ‘mere cosmetic damage’ to the gate and vehicle to reject the crash theory. District Magistrate Jammu, Ramesh Kumar, has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident while a board of doctors collected the viscera for forensic test after they examined the body.
The Police said, the ‘intruder’ breached the security by ramming into gate and drove vehicle to inner gardens of the house despite repeated warning to stop. He got off the jeep, and entered into scuffle with the guards while rushing towards main lobby of the house. While inside the house he ransacked furniture and was trying to climb the stairs towards first floor. The Police haven’t explained in detail
Vivek Gupta, Senior Superintendent of Police in Jammu said “the man had made a forcible entry and refused to stop despite repeated warnings”. One policeman was also injured in the scuffle, Gupta said. "An intruder gate-crashed into the house of Abdullah, had a scuffle with security personnel and attempted to snatch a rifle from an officer," IGP Jamwal told reporters in the afternoon.
The Police claim has been strongly contested by family members of Shah and the circumstantial evidence also seem to favour them. Physical examination of the main gate of the house and bonnet of the vehicle driven by Shah doesn’t suggest any strong collision required to crash the gate the secure entry. There are scratches on the gate and dents on front part of the sports utility vehicle but these damages are too minor to support the theory of ramming in. The only possibility to support the ramming theory could be the gate having already been negligently left unsecure so as to make entry of a jeep possible with minor force.
It appears that Syed Murfad Shah, an avid fitness freak, was in a fit of rage when he drove to Abdullah house. In a preliminary retrospective check, the Police say, Murfad drove from Chhani Himmat side and hit at least two vehicles minutes before barging into Abdullah house. Raghubeer Singh, a Police Inspector posted with the Vigilance Organisation, reported at the Chhani Himmat Police Station this morning that his vehicle, a Maruti Dezire, was hit by Murfad’s outside a restaurant at the national highway bypass at around 9:20am. On Inspector Singh’s complaint a formal FIR has been registered at the Chhani Himmat Police Station. This couldn’t be ascertained whether Inspector Raghubeer reported to Chhani Police Station after Bathindi incident of the killing of Shah was known. The Police said, Shah also hit another vehicle outside the Wave Mall just while taking a turn towards Bathindi which is two kilometres from the intersection.
Police have registered an FIR of attempt to murder, besides other sections, against the deceased. A case FIR number 219/2018 has been registered under sections 452, 382, 427, 307, 511 and 323 at Police Station Bahu Fort for further investigation.
An hour after the incident, Murfad’s father and other relatives arrives at the Abdullah house in Bathindi, at different intervals. Amidst grief they expressed shock and surprise as they didn’t find any reason why Mufrad should have come to Bathindi. Father of the deceased said Murfad was at home last night and left for the gym at 5am. The family lived in Chinore, on the Akhnoor bypass road, and Mufrad would come to Parade area, in the city, for gym every morning.
After the body was taken to the Government Medical College hospital for postmortem, several of Shah’s relative, friends and neighbours staged a protest. The Shah family originally belonged to Mendhar in Poonch district but they have been in Jammu for several years. Shah’s family is in the business of arms.
At the Medical College, the relatives prevented doctors from performing an autopsy for several hours and asked why an "innocent unarmed person" was killed, officials said. While the postmortem of the deceased was underway at the hospital, another large group of protesters blocked the main road at Chinore.
Shah’s family described his killing as cold blooded murder and asked for a probe. National Conference and BJP also said they didn’t believe in the initial version of the Police and wanted a probe into the matter.
Later in the evening, District Development Commissioner Ramesh Kumar ordered the probe to be conducted by Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Jammu North.
National Conference (NC) sought a high level probe into the incident by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). NC spokesperson Madan Mantoo said, "As Abdullah is a central government categorised protectee, the government of India should carry out its independent and impartial inquiry by a team deputed by the Ministry of Home Affairs."
Expressing grave concern over the incident, the spokesperson said the probe must cover all aspects, including how a car was able to gain entry into the supposedly highly secured residence with minimum cosmetic damage, considering the strength of the main gate.
"The security lapse is needed to be probed expeditiously so that the truth comes to the fore," the he added.
Following noisy protests by the relatives of the deceased, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of BJP also demanded that an impartial and prompt investigation be conducted into the incident and CCTV footage released.
"BJP demands an impartial and prompt enquiry into the matter of fake encounter. To set at rest the apprehensions of the members of the family of deceased, the CCTV footage should be released to the media by police immediately," BJP state spokesperson Anil Gupta said in a statement here.
He said the "cold-blooded" murder in a VIP residence raises many questions.
"The family of the deceased is calling the incident a fake encounter and insists that their son was called by somebody to the residence of the former chief minister," he said.
Gupta said, quoting friends of the deceased, that the youth was not a drug addict, as was being alleged by some.
In a major security breach this morning, the man rammed his car into the front gate of the residence of Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah here, and vandalised the house before being shot dead by the CRPF personnel guarding the premises, police said.
Farooq Abdullah was on his way to Srinagar from the national capital, where he has been attending the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, when the security breach was reported.
Reacting to the incident, Abdullah said, "It is very unfortunate that such an incident has happened and speaks volumes about the security situation in the state. Police must investigate the motive of the youth."
Omar Abdullah tweeted about the incident and said that was waiting for the Police investigation to find out the motive behind intrusion.



Was he a drug addict?
The theory being floated of Murfad being a drug addict is very hard to believe. He was a fitness freak who would go to gym twice a day, as could be seen from hundred of his pictures on his Facebook profile. However, according to sources, he was short-tempered.

Was the gate already open?
The gate stands tall and strong, almost impossible to be broke open by a monocoque car. The marks visible on Murfad’s car point towards a slight contact, at best. Had it broken the gate, the car’s front fascia would bear more damage than what it has, as shown in the picture.

Do Abdullah’s leave whole house open?
As per Police, Murfad was shot after a scuffle in the lobby of Abdullah’s when he was trying to sneak into their bedroom. It is very difficult to understand how an intruder got access to two former Chief Ministers’ lobby--the inner private area of their residence.

Why shot in the chest?
As per SOP, security personnel would shot at tires of Murafad’s vehicle when he drove his vehicle inside. Even then in the scuffle that ensued, as per police claim, the bullet was to be fire in the leg. Murfad was unarmed and alone, and could have easily been overpowered. Why shot him in the chest?

Updated On 8/5/2018 1:12:26 AM

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