Protests erupt in Sopore after 23-year old youth “allegedly” killed in custody

Police says OGW fled in dark, found his body near stone quarry; Family contests

Syed Fayaz 
Sopore, Sept 16 (KNS): Protests erupted in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday after the news of death of a local youth, who according to police was an OGW and escaped in dark, whose body was later on recovered from a quarry. The family however alleged that Irfan Ahmad Dar was tortured to death after he along with his brother Javed Ahmad were picked up by police from their shop on Tuesday. Soon after the incident internet services were suspended in the district to maintain law and order.
According to Kashmir News Service (KNS), as the news of Dar’s spread in the area, protests broke out as relatives and neighbors gathered to mourn the alleged killing. Protestors were shouting slogans against police and condemned the alleged “custodial death” of 24-year old youth.
Earlier police in its statement said on 15.09.2020 at about 12.:45 hours, one Over-Ground Worker (OGW) namely Irfan Ahmad Dar aged about 23/24 years son of Mohammad Akbar Dar resident of Sidiq Colony, Sopore was apprehended and two Chinese Hand Grenades were recovered from his possession.
“In this regard, case under FIR No. 257/2020 U/S 18 ULA (P) Act, 7/27 A. Act was registered in Police Station Sopore and investigation taken up. During the course of investigation, a Police Team visited Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief along with OGW for affecting some more recovery on the disclosure of the OGW”, police statement reads.
It added, “in the meanwhile the OGW while taking advantage of darkness and terrain managed to escape regarding which a separate case under FIR No. 71/2020 U/S 224 IPC was registered in Police Station Bomai and during search the body of OGW was found near Stone Quarry of Tujjar-Sharief”.
“The body was taken to the nearby PHC, wherefrom shifted to PCR Kashmir Hospital for fulfilling medical and other legal formalities and final disposal”, police said, adding further investigation has been initiated.
However the family members of Dar contested police claims and said he was “killed in custody”.
“I along with my brother Irfan were picked up by police for questioning on September 14 after which I was set free but my brother was kept in police custody”, said Javaid Ahmad, Irfan’s brother.
He alleged that his brother has been killed in police custody and that he had no militant connections.
“My brother is innocent and was a shopkeeper by profession. He had no militant connections and that the police claim about recovery of grenades is nothing but concocted story”, said Javaid. He demanded an impartial independent probe into what he alleged as “the cold blooded murder” of his brother.
Meanwhile the death of 23-year old youth in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district prompted authorities to snap all internet services to prevent any law and order situation.
However protests were going on in the area till last reports came in. (KNS) 

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