L-G Manoj Sinha must intervene, says Omar Abdullah on Sopore “custodial death”

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Srinagar: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah has said that Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha must intervene in both the “staged” gunfight of Shopian and alleged custodial killing in Sopore.

Taking to his Twitter handle, Mr. Omar said, “The administration can’t possibly win back the confidence of the people if “encounters” like Shopian or suspicious deaths like Sopore are allowed to pass without the facts being established & guilt, when determined, fully punished. @manojsinha_ must intervene in both these cases.”

A 23-year-old youth in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla was killed inside the police custody, alleged the family of the youth.

However, police claimed that the deceased youth was an Over Ground Worker arrested on 15 September along with two grenades and that he died after fleeing during the night raid after which his body was found near a stone quarry.

The family, however, out rightly, rejected the police claim and alleged that their son was dubbed as a militant and he was killed in police custody. The authorities also snapped the internet in the area to prevent any law and order incident.

A police statement said that on 15 September 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.

However, the family members of the deceased youth Mr. Irfan, accused police of dubbing their son as a militant and killing him in custody. “I along with my brother [Mr.] Irfan were picked up by police for questioning on 14 September and we were kept separately. I was set free but my brother was kept in the police custody,” Mr. Irfan’s brother Javaid Ahmad said.

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 the recovery of grenades is nothing but baseless story.” Mr. Javaid demanded an impartial independent probe into what he alleged as “the cold-blooded murder” of his brother—(with inputs from KNO)

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