20 April 2014
A youth from Mangalore was shot dead reportedly by Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) personnel at Tanikodu check-post on the Sringeri–Karkala Road around 4 a.m. on Saturday. While the police said that the ANF personnel mistook him for a Maoist, his family and an MLA alleged that the youth was shot dead without any provocation and demanded an inquiry.
According to the police, four people engaged in cattle trade in Mangalore were transporting 21 head of cattle purchased from Tirthahalli and Sringeri in a goods carrier. Chikmagalur Superintendent of Police R. Chethan told The Hindu that as the vehicle reached the check-post — located nearly 100 km away from Mangalore — ANF personnel signalled it to stop. “The passengers got out and started running… Their behaviour prompted the ANF men to open fire… The ANF men thought they were Naxals,” he said.
While Kabir (24), a resident of Krishapura in Mangalore, died on the spot, ANF personnel took Umar Farooq (27) into their custody. Two others, Kabir’s cousin Rafiq and the driver, Pramod, fled from the spot. The family claimed that the fourth person, Sarafaraz, is missing. The Sringeri police have registered a case under Sections of 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), and 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code against the cattle transporters.
Tension prevailed in Sringeri town later in the day when a group of youth, allegedly associated with the Bajrang Dal, stopped vehicles of Kabir’s relatives and tried to attack them. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob. A case of attempt to murder has been registered against this group of youth.
Rafiq, who reached Mangalore later in the day, said he got out of the vehicle to show documents pertaining to transport of cattle. At the same time, two ANF personnel went to check the vehicle’s carriage, he said.
“I then heard the sound of bullets being fired and fled from the spot along with the driver,” Mr. Rafiq said.
The attack on Kabir’s relatives in Sringeri town triggered tension in Chokkabettu and Krishnapura in Mangalore. Additional police personnel rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.
MLA seeks inquiry
In Mangalore, Congress MLA Mohiuddin Bava said an “innocent” person was shot dead without any provocation. He sought an impartial inquiry into the incident.
Kabir’s cousin Serajuddin alleged that ANF personnel opened fire without any provocation. “They killed an innocent youth,” he said.