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Protests in Kashmir’s Handwara after authorities confirm civilian’s death in encounter

The dead man has been identified as 21-year-old Shahid Bashir Mir of Daril Tarathpora area of Handwara. People close to the Mir family alleged that it was a staged encounter.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2017 00:08 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Handwara,Kashmir,Insurgency in Kashmir
Masked Kashmiris participate in a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on August 18.(AP File Photo/Representative image)

Clashes broke out in north Kashmir’s Handwara on Wednesday night after it was confirmed that the person killed in an encounter in the area on Tuesday was a civilian and not a militant.

The deceased has been identified as Shahid Bashir Mir of Daril Tarathpora area of Handwara. The 21-year-old was reportedly a student of the Government Degree College, Handwara and according to the police, was missing since August 21.

Speaking to HT, director general of police (DGP) SP Vaid said, “Yes, he (the man killed) was a civilian. According to his family, he was missing for a few days. How he was present in the jungle where the gun battle was on remains to be investigated. We are looking into the matter.”

Police officers in Handwara told HT that protests were going on in the area since last night and expressed apprehensions that the man might have been caught in crossfire.

On Tuesday, army had claimed that a militant was killed in a gun fight. A Srinagar-based army spokesperson on Thursday said, “Army launched an operation in the Haphruda forest on the intervening night of August 21-22. The army column was fired upon by the terrorists, which was retaliated. During search operation, the body of an individual was recovered and handed over to the police.” He added further investigations into the matter were on.

People close to the Mir family have alleged that it was a staged encounter.

In a press statement, released on Thursday, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed “deep grief and anger” at the killing of Mir.

The separatist leader asked, “How long will we carry the dead bodies of our youth killed with impunity by our oppressors,while the world looks the other way and does not raise its voice against such brutality?”

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 14:45 IST