Death of Shopian man during land acquisition drive | Protesting family alleges murder, dist admin says cardiac arrest

A family from South Kashmir’s district Shopian Wednesday staged a protest at Press Enclave here demanding justice in the case of death of a person during land acquisition drive in Hermain village.

The protestors who had also brought the body of the deceased alleged that the man was “assaulted by some goons on the behest of some officials.”

The protestors claimed that police didn’t file FIR in the “murder case” even after they approached it for it.  “We won’t bury the dead till action is initiated against those responsible for his death. He was a driver by profession and killed by goons,” the protestors said.

“We had a land dispute with another party. Over a dozen people arrived yesterday to occupy the land in question. The deceased was manhandled by goons, resulting in his death,” they alleged.

The district Administration Shopian issued a press release to clarify allegations. According to the press release, a prime Kahcharai land patch of 3 Kanals in Khasra No. 223 min in Village Padderpora has been illegally encroached by Mohd Ibrahim s/o Ab. GaniThoker, Ab. Rashid s/o RamzanThoker and others early 2019. The rest of the villagers of Padderpora h ad been repeatedly insisting on conversion of the said patch into a play ground. Last year, the encroachers violently clashed with the rest of the villagers during a confrontation and the encroachers engaged in damaging stone pelting. Following that ACR Shopian issued orders under S.145 of CrPC over the said land.

After almost a year, the S.145 order was revoked in September 2020 and the land was handed over to BDO Hermain for converting it into a playground. On November 3, 2020, An official Team led by Tehsildar Hermain, DySP Shopian, SHO Shopian, NT Hermain, BDO Hermain and others proceeded on the spot to undertake the ground levelling work. The team faced resistance from the women among the encroachers who violently obstructed the process and no levelling could be undertaken by the team.

In the meantime, Abdul Salam s/o Mohd Rajab, Age 70 yrs, a relative of the encroachers and who was a long term heart patient suffering from Hypertension, who was present in PHC Mohandpora in Kulgam District that day, passed away in the afternoon in the PHC and his dead body was later brought to DH Shopian in an ambulance for Postmortem.

Meanwhile, back in Padderpora, the encroachers escalated their violent resistance and started stone pelting on the team of officers following which they left the scene of the incidence to avoid any further violence. No levelling or encroachment destruction work could be undertaken by the team.

The District Administration clarified that the death of the elderly person, which occurred because of the cardiac arrest is not connected to the events of Padderpora but some nefarious elements are trying to link the two events to advance their illegal case.

An FIR No.307/202 of 3-11-2020 u/s 452, 354, 506 & 427 of IPC was lodged in PS Shopian in connection with the stone pelting and violence undertaken by the encroachers.