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Pattan youth injured in protests against Sumbal rape case dies

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PC says deceased youth was ‘unambiguously a victim of police brutality’

Srinagar, May 16: A youth, who had sustained grievous injuries in clashes during protests at Pattan against the rape of a three-year-old girl, died at SKIMS hospital here, officials said Thursday.

Arshad Hussain Dar, son of Ghulam Mohammad Dar of Chanabal Pattan, who was injured in police action on May 13, succumbed to injuries at the hospital late Wednesday night, the officials said.

Over 45 security personnel, including an officer, and seven civilians were injured in the clashes during protests at Pattan on Srinagar-Baramulla highway on Monday, a police official had said.

Youths had pelted stones at police and paramilitary forces at several locations in Baramulla district in north Kashmir, he said.

Kashmir witnessed violent protests against the rape of a minor girl allegedly by her 20-year-old neighbour last week.

The accused has been arrested and a special investigating team formed for expeditious probe of the case.

Meanwhile, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today terms Dar’s death as tragic and highly condemnable.

In a statement issued here, Mehbooba expressed solidarity with the family of deceased and asked the government to speed-up the probe in Sumbal rape case to clear any misgivings in peoples’ minds and restore normalcy.

She also appealed people not to go adrift at any cost and do not allow divisive elements to succeed in their nefarious plans to create animosity between people along the sectarian and communal lines.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone also expressed profound grief over the death of Dar.

Expressing solidarity with his family, Lone said Arshad was “unambiguously a victim of police brutality”.

He said disproportionate use of force must not be tolerated and officers responsible for the killing should be held accountable.

“Lack of accountability in previous such instances has emboldened the police to continue using excessive force for crowd control. Only stringent action may act as deterrent for others. We appeal to the Governor to seek answers and punish the guilty,” he added.

Meanwhile, senior PC leader and party general secretary Imran Reza Ansari on Thursday visited Chanabal to sympathize with the family of Arshad Hussain Dar.

Expressing profound grief over his death, Ansari said that those responsible must be dealt with sternly.

“Arshad was hit by pellets while he was peacefully protesting against the rape of 3-year old girl. Those who are responsible for this inhumane act must be identified and punished as per the law,” he added.

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