Sambit Patra slammed for insensitive tweet on Sopore encounter

A 60-year-old man, who was in the area with his 3-yo grandson, died after he was reportedly caught in a crossfire between the CRPF and militants

sambit patra

In a shocking incident that took place in Kashmir’s Sopore on Wednesday morning, a 60-year-old civilian, died after he got caught in a cross-firing between militants and CRPF personnel. The civilian was killed right in front of his 3-year-old grandson’s eyes. In a heart-wrenching picture that surfaced on the internet later, the boy was seen sitting on his grandfather’s body, crying, not knowing what had happened.

Mumbai Mirror reported that Bashir Ahmed Khan (65), a contractor, was travelling to Sopore to oversee the progress of one of his projects and had taken his 3-year-old grandson for an outing. However, he was caught in an ongoing encounter between terrorists and security forces and stopped to find cover when he was struck by bullets. It was also reported that one CRPF constable also lost his life in the incident and three others sustained injuries.

However, while the internet was shaken by the picture, BJP leader, Sambit Patra posted the picture on Twitter and captioned it, “Pulitzer Lovers??”


Patra soon faced widespread condemnation for his actions.



It must be noted that even though Patra received a lot of flak for his insensitive comment, neither has he taken it down, nor has Twitter taken any action against it. Instead, he took to Twitter to clarify his stance to all who questioned him on his outrageous comment.



Patra’s past attack on Pulitzer Prize winning journalists

Patra’s comment could have been aimed at Indian journalists Dar Yasin, Mukhtar Khan and Channi Anand who were honoured with the coveted Pulitzer Prize in the field of feature photography earlier this year for their work documenting the sights of Kashmir.

At the time, Patra had tweeted –



Patra had gone on a rampage against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who had congratulated the journalists for their win. Patra targeted Rahul Gandhi alleging that he had wished those who considered Kashmir to be a ‘contested territory’. However, Patra probably didn’t take into account that it was the agency who provided captions to photographs and not the photojournalists themselves, said Free Press Journal.



Civilian’s family alleges foul play

However, while Patra has turned to the microblogging site to call some naysayers ‘jihadis’ or ‘Pak agents’, a video of the civilian’s presumed relative has surfaced where he alleges that according to eyewitnesses present at the site, it was the CRPF jawans who shot Khan and not anyone else.

In the video circulating on Facebook, the relative said that the family members were called by onlookers and informed that the CRPF jawans had allegedly pulled Khan out of his vehicle and gunned him down. He said that he was told some personnel of the security forces had been injured in the crossfire with the militants and in probably in a fit of rage, they instead shot Khan to give way to their anger.

In another video, a man presumed to be the civilian’s son, said –

The Kashmir Walla reported that in one video, the wife of the killed civilian has alleged that government forces placed the child on the civilian’s body. “They killed him and then kept his three-year-old grandson on his body,” the wife of the killed man can be heard saying in video, as she is consoled by mourning women at her house. “The child’s clothes are soaked with his grandpa’s blood. He was not a militant. He was a petty employee.”

CRPF denies allegations

The CRPF has denied the accusations. Javaid Iqbal, Senior Superintendent of Police, Sopore, told The Kashmir Walla, “These reports of CRPF personnel dragging him from the vehicle and shooting him outside are absolutely incorrect,” adding that two militants belonging to the Lashkar-e-Taiba were behind the attack.

The Sopore police also issued a statement saying –



Zulfiqar Hasan, ADG CRPF spoke to the media saying that some people had tried to give it a spin by alleging that the CRPF personnel took the civilian out of the vehicle and shot him.





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