Newskarnataka – Suratkal
Suratkal: There has been a new twist to the Kabeer shoot-out case reported from Tanikodu check post near Shringeri on April 19. Pramod Poojary, the driver of the pick-up vehicle which was transporting cattle has now claimed that Kabeer had jumped out of the pick-up vehicle, shouted and tried to hurl stones at the ANF personnel forcing them to open fire at him.
Poojary who spoke to select media men at an undisclosed location in Suratkal has narrated the entire incident and has said that he needed protection as he was receiving threatening calls.
Pramod said he who worked as a driver for cattle transportation vehicle along with Kabeer and Badruddin of Jokatte, had stopped doing so after marriage two and a half years ago.
But the day previous to the incident, Rafique who telephoned him requested him to drive the Xylo car for one day. As per their request Pramod had been with the accused and had travelled to Hosur. “By the time we reached the place, a pick-up vehicle was ready with over 20 cattle inside it. As is the usual practice the Xylo vehicle would escort the pick-up so that there is no danger. But this time Kabeer reportedly asked Pramod to be the driver of the pick-up vehicle. When Pramod refused, he agreed to drive the vehicle after crossing the check-post, said Pramod “It was their habit to bribe the police personnel at every check post by offering Rs 2500.
“Accordingly, they had paid cash to the cops at Hosur checkpost and had secured a card as per which they have to pass through the next check post at the time mentioned in the card,” he said.
“Though the vehicle reached the Shringeri check post on time, ANF men were on duty there instead of the regular policemen. When the ANF personnel approached the vehicle Rafique escaped.Others including me too tried to escape. Kabeer who was sitting behind shouted out of fear and alighted the vehicle. Sensing danger, he tried to hurl stones at the ANF men who suspected him to be a Naxal and fired at him.” The first bullet hit Kabeer, while the second bullet though targeted at me, I was saved as there was a lorry nearby,” says Pramod.
Pramod says he returned the next day when MLA Moidin Bava summoned him and told him not to fear and to tell the media that the police fired at close range. Pramod says Bava had forcibly brought him to the media that day.
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