J&K cops probe into custodial death, Army in the dock

None | ByRashid Ahmad, Srinagar
Jan 31, 2007 09:15 PM IST

This is another case of custodial killing of a labourer Mohammad Yaqoob Mir in Srinagar and the army is in the dock, reports Rashid Ahmad.

Police have started investigations into what is suspected to be another case of custodial killing of a labourer Mohammad Yaqoob Mir in Srinagar. This time, however, the army is in the dock. 
Army on January 25 claimed that the troops of 52-RR gunned down an unidentified terrorist in an ambush at Batapora in Pattan quarter of Baramullah district and handed over his body to police. Police identified the slain “militant” as Mohammad Yaqoob Mir of Khanyar locality of interior Srinagar.
The residents held massive protest demonstrations on January 26 when the slain "terrorists" body was brought to his house. The residents alleged that Yaqoob was a labourer, who had gone missing on January 21 after he left his home for work. Mir was working as labourer near Budshah Chowk in capital Srinagar where Irrigation and Flood Control Department is raising a Bund on river Jehlum. 
"When he (Yaqoob) did not turn up home in the evening, next morning we went to the spot and enquired from other labourere about his whereabouts," said a relative of Mir. The labourers told them that a person in plain clothes called him and took him along.

"We thought that it must be some one from the family or relation and did pay little attention to him," they were told by the labourers. His parents lodged a missing report (FIR-6/07) in Police Station Maisumma on May 22.

"When Mir’s body was handed over to his family on January 26, we got suspicious and started investigations," said a middle-rung police officer.
What appears to have precipitated the investigations into Mir’s 'killing' is the exposition of carpenter Abdul Rahman Paddar’s killing in a 'fake' encounter by SOG in Ganderbal. 
Sources said that Station House Officer of Maisumma Police Station, Ali Mohammad Dar, recorded the statements of 15 labourers, who were working with Mir at Budshah Chowk.

A police team from Pattan, headed by SHO Manzoor Ahmad Malik also separately visited the spot and recorded the statements of five labourers. 
Meanwhile, the body of Paddar is likely to be exhumed on Friday for DNA test. A team of forensic experts is reaching here on Thursday to conduct the test.

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