65-yr old labourer killed in Handwara
Died In Cross Fire: Army; Fake Encounter: Family
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar, Oct 18: The killing of a 65-year old labourer allegedly by army troopers triggered massive protests in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday.
The body of Mukhtar Ahmed Shiekh of Thokergund Kralgund, who went missing two days ago, was handed over to his family this afternoon by police, claiming that he was killed in a gunfight between militants and troopers in Watsar forests of Rajwar on Sunday.
“We were shocked when police informed us that he has been killed in cross-firing in forests of Watsar. They kidnapped him first and then killed him in a fake encounter,” his son Parvaiz Ahmed told Greater Kashmir.
According to the family, the deceased went missing on the night of October 16, when he was returning home.
Parvaiz said his father went to bring tarpaulin from neighbouring Khaipora village, where he was working as a labourer for past two years.
“We searched for him at all places but could not trace him,” he said, adding that his body was handed over to the family this afternoon for burial.
The family said a grenade was recovered from the clothes the elderly man wore.
“Where from the grenade came? Police and army want to label our father a militant by placing a grenade in his pocket. How come it is possible that the grenade remains in pocket even after thorough searches by police, army and post-mortem autopsy by doctors. They had taken away even his identity card and diary,” they said.
“There should be a high level probe in the recovery of grenade from his pocket. I have taken up this issue with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah,” MLA Langate, Er. Rashid, said.
Hundreds of people took to streets raising pro-freedom and anti-India slogans demanding punishment to troopers. Amid pro-freedom slogans, the deceased was later buried in a local graveyard.
When contacted, Defence spokesman, Lt. Col J S Brar said Sheikh was killed in cross firing during an operation. “The operation is still on,” he added.
A police spokesman said on evening of October 17 an encounter took place between army and militants in Yamrad forests in which one person Mukthar Ahmed was killed.
“The deceased was missing from October 16 evening from his home and two kilograms of dry fruits were recovered from his possession,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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