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‘Man dies in Army custody in Gurez’

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He was part of search ops, slipped into stream, got injured and died in hospital: Army

Bandipora: A-52-year old man from a Gurez village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district died while he was in Army custody, locals said Saturday while alleging that the man died “due to torture inside an army camp”.

However, the Army and the police said “he was part of a search operation, during which he slipped into a ‘nallah’ (stream), sustained injuries, was taken to army hospital where he succumbed.”

Quoting locals, news agency KNO reported that one Muhammad Abdullah Hajam, son of Abdul Rahman Hajam, a resident of Tarbal was allegedly called by the local Army unit of 36RR at Tarbal–the last village near LoC, about 20 kms from Gurez town.

The locals said that they came to know this morning about the death of the man inside the Army camp. The deceased, according to locals, has five children.

The locals alleged that the network connectivity was suspended in the entire Bagtore area this morning following the incident.

After Hajam’s death, his relatives and locals held a protest in the area. A police team later managed to pacify the protesters.

A police spokesman in a statement said that today Army unit of 06 Maratha LI approached Police Post Izmarg Gurez, Bandipora and reported that one Abdullah Hajam, a resident of Tarbal was with them for a search operation during the intervening night of July 30-31, 2021.

“While conducting a search in a dense forest area along with said person, suddenly he slipped into a deep nallah and got injured. He was shifted to battalion headquarters for treatment. However, despite all possible efforts the injured succumbed to his injuries before being shifted to another hospital,” the spokesman said.

He said on receipt of the said report, “inquest proceedings have been initiated into the incident to ascertain the facts and circumstances leading to this incident.

“The medico-legal formalities were completed at Sub District Hospital Gurez. Investigation in the matter is in progress,” the police spokesman said.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Emron Musavi in a statement said that “last night Abdullah Hazam r/o Tharbal, Gurez, saw some suspicious movement in the forest area ahead of Tharbal village.

“He immediately informed the nearest army post about the suspicious activity. Army search party along with him went to search the area in the darkness,” he said, adding that “while the party was moving through a slushy patch, he unfortunately slipped into the nallah. The soldiers immediately rescued him and brought him to the nearest military doctor. The doctor immediately examined him and gave first-aid. However, despite the best efforts of the doctor, Abdullah Hazam could not be saved and passed away due to his injuries at 8 am.”

The defence spokesman said that post-mortem has been conducted and the body is being handed over to the family. “All possible assistance is being provided to the family of Abdullah Hajam,” he said. (KNO)

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