Protests rock Sopore as man detained by police found dead
Family alleges ‘custodial murder’, demands probe; Police says, he ‘escaped from custody’ and was found dead
Srinagar: Protests erupted in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Wednesday after the news of death of a local youth, Irfan Ahmad Dar, who was arrested by the police on Tuesday, was found dead near a stone quarry.
While police claimed the he was an OGW and gave a slip to police during a raid, the family described the death as a “cold blooded murder under torture in police custody.’
As the news of Dar’s death spread in the area, protests broke out as relatives and neighbors gathered to mourn the alleged custodial killing. Protestors were shouting slogans against police.
Irfan Ahmad Dar (24), son of Mohammad Akbar Dar of Sidiq-Colony, Sopore was detained by police in Sopore town on Tuesday in connection with a militancy case, the officials said.
His body was found at Chairdaji falling under the jurisdiction of nearby Bomai Police Station on Tuesday evening, the officials said.
They said the body was brought to PCR Hospital at Srinagar on Wednesday for postmortem.
The Sopore Police has claimed that the deceased had “escaped from the custody” prior to his death.
In a statement, a police spokesman said that on September 15 at about 12:45 hours, Irfan Ahmad Dar, an over ground worker (OGW) of militants was apprehended and two Chinese hand-grenades were recovered from his possession.
“In this regard, a 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.
“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,” read the statement.
“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 statement claimed.
It said the body was taken to the nearby PHC, and later shifted to PCR Kashmir Hospital for fulfilling medical and other legal formalities and final disposal.
However, officials said the body bore many torture marks on the back and face, reported PTI.
Authorities have suspended Internet services in Sopore town and adjoining areas as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, the family members of the deceased have accused the 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,” said Javaid Ahmed, Irfan’s brother.
He said that his brother has been killed in police custody and that he had no militant links.
“My brother was innocent and was a shopkeeper by profession. He was unmarried and the police claims about recovery of grenades is nothing but baseless lie,” he said.
Javaid demanded an impartial independent probe into what he termed as “the cold blooded custodial murder” of his brother.