Srinagar, August 4: Police on Wednesday said it arrested four men from three north Kashmir districts for allegedly murdering a labourer from Khawajabagh area of Baramulla district over a petty dispute on sand extraction from Jhelum.
As per a statement by Zonal Police headquarters Srinagar, one Fahmeeda Begum, wife of the deceased Aijaz Ahmad Pandith, aka Bilal, son of Mohammad Ismail, a resident of Khawajabagh Baramulla, lodged a missing complaint at Police Station Baramulla about her husband on July 31 after he went for extracting sand from Jhelum in nearby Chakloo area along with his fellow Firdous Ganai.
The same day at about 0100hrs, mother of Firdous told Fahmeeda that her husband Aijaz had been attacked by some men from Chakloo village across river Jhelum.
As per the police spokesperson, Aijaz had probably been taken away by the attackers while Firdous managed to escape and reached home.
Accordingly, a case FIR No.175/21 U/S 364 IPC was registered and investigation taken up during the course of which Firdous told police that during the intervening night of 30/31 of July, at around 0000 hrs he alongwith deceased Aijaz while extracting sand from river Jhelum near Chakloo were attacked by residents of Chakloo he said were four in number.
Firdous, police said, identified two of the four attackers as Bashir Ahmad Wani, son of Abdul Ahad Wani and Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh, son Ghulam Hassan, both residents of Chakloo Baramulla.
The statement of the said witness was substantiated during investigation of the suspects and other evidences, police said.
Accordingly, the two accused were arrested on 2nd of August and even confessed to the crime and stated that the deceased Aijaz and the survivor Firdous used to "take away sand from Chakloo side of river Jhelum".
During further police interrogation of the duo, it surfaced that on the fateful night, the accused alongwith two other accused namely Fayaz Ahmad Shah son of Abdul Ahad Shah resident of Banyari Hajin Sumbal, district Bandipora and Basit Aziz Payar, son of Abdul Aziz Payar of Chera Koot Sogam, district Kupwara laid an ambush near the crime spot and when the deceased alongwith survivor started extracting the sand the accused pounced upon Aijaz and Firdous the and took Aijaz with them while as the latter jumped into the river and managed to escape.
After taking the deceased, one of the four attackers namely Mudasir Sheikh hit the deceased on his head with an agricultural tool spade (bailcha) and then threw him into the river to give an impression of drowning, police said.
The weapon of offence stands recovered on the disclosure and identification of accused, it added.
Police said the body of the deceased was recovered from river Jhelum near Khanpora Bridge on August 2 after strenuous searches and efforts of police, SDRF and Marcos.
After fulfilling legal formalities the dead body was handed over to family for last rites whille all the four accused stand arrested.