- Army regrets killing; Death toll rises to 67;
- Curfew, shutdown remains in force for 41 day; Night curfew imposed in Valley
- Separatists extend strike upto Aug 25; Body of youth killed by police exhumed; MLA’s house attacked
SRINAGAR: Kashmir was seething with anger after a 30-year-old-lecturer was beaten to death by army allegedly in custody, taking the death toll of people killed in ongoing unrest to 67 while curfew and shutdown remained in force in the Valley for 41st consecutive day on Thursday.
Army has regretted the killing while a mob attacked house of MLA Shopian last night.
Locals of Khrew in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district alleged that army and J&K police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel raided the village last night.
“During the raid, army and SOG men barged into the houses, ransacked the household goods and beat the inmates, causing injuries to dozens of people including women and children. The army men also dragged about 30 youth and took them to their camp, where they were beaten,” they alleged.
They said in the early morning, army handed over body of Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, 30, to the villagers. “They also released all other detained youth and all of them had sustained injuries as they were beaten mercilessly by army men in custody”.
The locals alleged that the lecturer was beaten to death by army and said there were visible torture remarks on his body.
The slain lecturer is survived by wife and a toddler son.
People in large numbers including men and women took to roads in the area this morning to protest the killing. Chanting anti-army, anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, they clashed with army, police and paramilitary personnel. The security personnel fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse them. The security men also fired many rounds in air. Many people sustained injuries in the clashes.
General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua termed the death of civilian as regrettable and said it will investigate the incident.
“It was a joint patrol of army, police and CRPF. We will thoroughly investigating the incident,” Lt Gen Dua told reporters on sidelines of Passing Out Parade of new recruits into army at JAKLI Centre in outskirts of Srinagar, here.
A police spokesman said police has taken cognizance of the matter and investigation has been taken up.
With lecturer’s killing, the death toll of people killed in ongoing unrest in the Valley triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul commander Burhan Wani has risen to 67. Burhan was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area of South Kashmir on July 8.
Over 8500 people including 5000 civilians have been injured in the clashes between security personnel and youth during protests in last 41 days in the Valley.
Authorities continued to enforce tough curfew and restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley for 41 consecutive day today. The police and paramilitary personnel had erected barricades and placed concertina wires on the roads to restrict movement of people.
A police officer said the curfew and restrictions were imposed to foil separatists “UN March”.
He said the night curfew has also been imposed in the Valley and it was enforced on Wednesday evening.
“Now, the tough night curfew will be enforced by the cops,” the officer said and advised people not to move out of their homes in the night.
On Tuesday after five civilians were killed in security forces firing in the Valley, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called on people to stage 72-hour “UN March” from Wednesday morning to inform the world body about the human rights violations being committed by forces in Valley.
Youth at many places in the Valley today defied curfew and restrictions and staged anti-India demonstrations. Chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the protestors were demanding an end to civilian killings. At some places the protestors clashed with the police and CRPF men, who fired tear smoke shells and pellets and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the agitating people. Many protestors suffered injuries in the clashes.
Police said a mob assembled and attacked the house of MLA Shopian in South Kashmir last night.
“The mob set ablaze the belongings including a motorcycle of the guard personnel posted for protection of the house. The guard personnel exercised maximum restraint,” the police spokesman said.
The separatist leaders, meanwhile, have extended the strike call upto August 25.
They have also announced relaxation in shutdown from 6 pm to 6 am on August 20, 21, 23 and 24. “The shutdown will be relaxed from 10 pm to 6 am on August 22 and 25,” they said.
Body of Youth Exhumed
Body of a youth Shabir Ahmad Mir, who was killed in police firing on July 10 in Tengpora area of Srinagar, was exhumed from a graveyard today in presence of District and Sessions judge following recent Supreme Court order.
“The body was exhumed for conducting a postmortem to ascertain the cause of his death,” a police official said.
Slain youth’s father, Abdul Rehman Mir, had filed an application before CJM, Srinagar, alleging that his son was killed by police at his home in Tengpora area of Batamaloo in Srinagar and sought registration of case against Dy SP and other cops.
Police, however, had claimed that Shabir died during protests in the Valley.