Internet suspended in area; Protests rock apple town, irate youth, women block roads; we have no militant links: Brother of deceased youth; Irfan was OGW, fled in darkness, found his body near stone quarry: Police
Sopore, Sep 16: The mysterious death of a 23-year-old in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla triggered a fresh wave of anger in the district on Wednesday with the family members of the deceased alleging that their son was murdered in police custody.
Sensing trouble, the authorities suspended internet services in the area to prevent any law and order issue. The police, however, claimed that the youth was an Over Ground Worker arrested on September 15 along with two grenades and that he died after fleeing during the night raid after which his body was found near a stone quarry at Tujjar Shareef area of Sopore.
The family members of the deceased youth Irfan, accused police of dubbing their son as a militant and killing him in custody. “I along with my brother Irfan were picked up by police for questioning on September 14 and we were kept separately. I was set free but my brother was kept in the police custody,” Javaid Ahmed, Irfan’s brother told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).
He said that his brother has been killed in police custody and that he had no militant links. “My brother is innocent and was a shopkeeper by profession. He was unmarried and that the police claims about recovery of grenades is nothing but baseless story.”
Javaid demanded an impartial independent probe into what he alleged as “the cold blooded murder” of his brother. He said that they have CCTVs installed at their main entrance and one can easily check whether any militant had entered their house for shelter as claimed by police.
He said that his brother was killed in police custody. “They snatched not only brother but my best too,” said Javaid. “The irony is that after killing my brother in custody, police has not even handed over his body to us. We demand the body of our son be handed over to us forthwith.”
However, a police statement issued to news agency KNO said that on September 15 at about 12:45 pm, one OGW namely Irfan Ahmad Dar (Age about 23/24 years) S/O Mohammad Akbar Dar R/O Sidiq-Colony, Sopore was apprehended and two Chinese Hand Grenades were recovered from his possession.
“In this regard, Case FIR No. 257/2020 U/S 18 ULA (P) Act, 7/27 A. Act was registered in Police Station Sopore and investigation taken up,” the police statement said. “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.”
The police statement further read that in the meanwhile, the OGW while taking advantage of darkness and terrain managed to escape regarding which a separate Case 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 police statement said, adding that the body was taken to the nearby Primary Health Centre (PHC), wherefrom it was shifted to PCR Kashmir Hospital for fulfilling medical and other legal formalities and final disposal.
“Further investigation is going on,” the police statement said. Meanwhile, massive protests rocked Sopore with youth and women taking to streets demanding inquiry into the incident and the body of Irfan.
Eye-witnesses said that massive protests erupted in Sopore as youth blocked the main roads with wooden logs, stones and bricks amid slogans “punish the culprits and hand over body of Irfan.” Protests were on in the area till late evening Wednesday.