A youth was allegedly beaten to death by army in a village in Sopore area of north Kashmir's Baramulla district last night, taking the death toll in the ongoing uprising to 83.
Eyewitnesses said that the bruised body of 24-year-old Manzoor Lone, son of Ghulam Rasool, resident of Hardshiva was found in a stone quarry early today morning.
They said that some youths hurled rocks at the army camp after offering Eid prayers at Eidgah Zainageer, which is located less than 100 metres from the camp of 22 RR in Pazalpora.
"The army men chased the stone-pelting youths. Manzoor hid himself in the stone quarry after the chase. Army men caught hold of him and thrashed him mercilessly," said witnesses. "He was later bundled into an army vehicle and taken to their camp. But he had already expired."
His father, Ghulam Rasool, said that they were worried when Manzoor didn't return home by yesterday evening.
"Along with members of Auqaf committee, we went to the army camp where we were told that they had no information on Manzoor," said Rasool.
The family left for Bomai police station to lodge a missing report today morning, but before they could reach there, they were told that Manzoor's body has been found in the stone quarry.
"His body was found in a pit near the quarry," locals said.
As the news of his death spread, people took to streets and staged massive protests.
The protesters, witnesses said, were demanding an FIR against the army and the removal of the army camp from the area.
However, police and paramilitary CRPF personnel resorted to teargas shelling to disperse the protesters.
Meanwhile, DIG Baramulla Uttam Chand said that they will investigate his death.
A police spokesperson in Srinagar said that they have taken cognizance of the matter and started investigation.
"Dead body of Manzoor Ahmad Lone son of Naseer Ahmad Lone resident of Hardshiva Bomie, Sopore was recovered from the paddy fields. Police has taken cognizance of the matter and started investigation," said the spokesperson.
Army has also denied any involvement in the killing of Manzoor.
"We were not involved in any beating incident in Sopore," said a spokesperson.