ANF constable Naveen Naik gets bail

ANF constable Naveen Naik gets bail

The vacation bench of High Court, on Thursday, granted bail to Anti-Naxal Force (ANF) constable Naveen G Naik, who had shot down Mohammed Kabir, a 23-year-old Muslim youth, under suspicious circumstances at the forest check-post on the Sringeri-Karkala road in April.

Justice Ananda Byrareddy, granting the bail, said ANF constable fired under pressure, as such a circumstance was created. The judge said Naveen had a clean track record and was a recipient of the President’s gallantry medal for police personnel. 

Mohammed Kabir, along with three others, was trying to transport cattle in a tempo at the forest check-post on the Sringeri-Karkala route.

When ANF police constables tried to check the vehicle not knowing that there were cattle inside, the person including Kabir, fled the place. Suspecting that the men were naxals, Naveen opened fire, killing Kabir.  

During the hearing, the bench asked Naveen’s advocate Arun Shyam that just because  the ANF constable had firearm, why did he open fire. 

Advocate Arun Shyam said the place where the incident took place was a naxal-prone area and as the men did not co-operate in checking the vehicle and fled the place, the constable suspected that Kabir was a naxalite.  

He also submitted that the constable initially opened fire in the air warning them not to flee and later shot at Kabir. Naveen, who is in custody since April 24, was denied bail by the sessions court, to avoid riot-like situation. 

However, the High Court granted conditional bail to Naveen with Rs 50,000 bond and a surety.