Official probing Sopore man’s death asks family, public to record statements
Mohammad Ahsan Mir, additional district commissioner (ADC), Baramulla, who has been asked to conduct a magisterial investigation into the alleged custodial death of a 23-year-old shopkeeper in Sopore on September 16, has directed the deceased’s relatives and the public to record statements about the case.
“The public and the relatives of the deceased, Irfan Ahmad Dar, along with the persons having knowledge about the case are informed to record their statements about the alleged custodial death,” stated a government order that was issued on Sunday.
The order said the public would be allowed to record their statements on Sunday and Monday at the ADC office in Sopore and at the ADC office in Baramulla between September 22 and 26.
GN Ittoo, district commissioner (DC), Baramulla, had announced a magisterial probe on September 17, a day after Dar was killed.
Mir, who was entrusted with the responsibility to conduct the investigation, has been asked to submit the probe report within 20 days.
“Irfan Ahmad Dar, a young boy, of Sidiq Colony in Sopore was found dead near a stone quarry at Tujjar Sharief on September 16 under mysterious circumstances. Tujjar Sharief falls under the jurisdiction of Bomai police station. There was an outcry and it is reported in the media that the deceased was picked up by the police in Sopore on September 15 and he was in their custody. Allegations are levelled against the police for Dar’s custodial killing. The incident was also reported by special superintendent of police (SSP) Sopore,” stated the order of DC, Baramulla.
“In a bid to ascertain the truth, a magisterial probe has been instituted into the incident,” it added.
Dar’s body wasn’t handed over to his family members and he was buried at Sonmarg.
His relatives had termed his killing a “cold-blooded murder”.
Javaid, Dar’s elder brother, had said, “Irfan and I were taken away by the police on Tuesday (September 15) on charges of hiding some militants. Irfan and I was kept apart in the police station. I was feeling unwell in police custody. I had told the policemen that there are closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras in our house and they are welcome to check the footage of August whether anybody (militants) came.”
Dilbag Singh, director-general of police (DGP), J&K, said that a probe was ordered to ascertain the facts.
“On Tuesday (September 15), at about 12:45 pm, an OGW (over ground worker) identified as Irfan Ahmad Dar of Sidiq colony in Sopore was apprehended and two Chinese hand grenades were recovered from his possession. A case was registered at a police station in Sopore,” said a spokesperson of J&K Police.
He said during the investigation, a police team visited Chairdaji in Tujjar-Sharief along with Dar for recovery of arms and ammunition following his disclosure. “However, the OGW took advantage of the darkness and managed to escape. A separate case was registered in this matter at Bomai police station. His body was found near the stone quarry at Tujjar-Sharief during the search operation,” he added.