Army orders probe after lecturer dies in custody in Kashmir
Srinagar: The army ordered a probe on Thursday into the death of a 30-year-old college lecturer who was allegedly beaten to death in its custody after being picked up from his home in south Kashmir’s Pampore.
Residents of Shar village alleged army personnel barged into their homes at 11.30pm Wednesday night and arrested 28 people. They came back hours later at around 1am Thursday with the body of Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, who was later declared dead at a hospital, locals said.
“The incident is regrettable. The army will investigate the matter,” general officer commanding of the Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General SK Dua, said.
Mangoo’s death may stoke more anger in the Valley, which has been curfew-bound for 40 days since violence erupted after security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.
The toll has climbed to 66 while several thousands are injured. Residents of Shar said 15 of those arrested have been hospitalised, many of them in critical condition and bearing injury marks.
The police said the arrests were preceded by a scuffle between the army and civilians. “As per our reports, people pelted stones at army vehicles and a scuffle broke out. Some people were later arrested,” said Awanitipora superintendent of police Zahid Mallik. “Four people were injured and one of them died.”
Residents, however, said the raid and arrests came more than six hours after “mild” protests were held between 4-5pm.
The security forces are already under a cloud over the death of Srinagar man Shabir Ahmed Mir, whose family has accused a police team led by deputy superintendent of police Yasir Qadri of barging into their home and killing the 26-year-old in cold blood on July 10. Mir’s body was exhumed on Thursday on the orders of the Supreme Court. The police have denied the charge, claiming Mir died in street violence.