‘Mysterious death’ of youth sparks row in J&K’s Baramulla

Representational Image

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): The death of a 23-year-old youth in Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district today sparked a row, with the police claiming that the deceased was an Over Ground Worker (OGW), who was arrested with two grenades and that he fled while being taken to recover more incriminating material.

Police have said that the OGW fled during the course of investigation when he was taken to a spot in Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief last night and that his dead body was found near a stone quarry later.

The deceased youth, identified as Irfan Ahmad Dar (Photo via arrangement)

The family of the youth, however, rejected the police statement and alleged that their son was dubbed as a militant and was killed in police custody.

A police statement issued here said, “On September 15 at around 12:45 pm, one OGW identified as Irfan Ahmad Dar (age about 23/24 years), R/O Sidiq-Colony, Sopore was apprehended and two Chinese hand grenades were recovered from his possession.”

“In this regard, Case FIR No. 257/2020 U/S 18 ULA (P) Act, 7/27 A Act was registered in Police Station Sopore and investigation taken up,” the police statement read.

“During the course of investigation, a police team visited Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief along with OGW for affecting some more recovery on the disclosure of the OGW,” it added.

The police statement further stated that the OGW, while taking advantage of darkness and terrain, managed to escape, regarding which a separate FIR was registered at Police Station Bomai.

“And during search, the body of OGW was found near stone quarry of Tujjar-Sharief,” the police said, adding that the body was taken to the nearby Primary Health Centre (PHC), wherefrom it was shifted to PCR Kashmir Hospital for fulfilling medical and other legal formalities. “Further investigation is going on,” police said.

However, the family members of the deceased youth have accused police of dubbing their son as a militant and killing him in custody. “I along with my brother Irfan were picked up by police for questioning on September 14 and we were kept separately. I was set free but my brother was kept in the police custody,” said Javaid Ahmed, Irfan’s brother.

He said that his brother has been killed in police custody and that he had no militant links. “My brother is innocent and was a shopkeeper by profession. He was unmarried and that the police claim about the recovery of grenades is nothing but a baseless story,” he said.

Javaid has demanded an impartial independent probe into what he alleged as “the cold-blooded murder” of his brother. “We have CCTV installed at the residence of our main gate and rooms. Let police check whether any militant had visited us. They won’t be able to establish any connection between us and the militancy,” he added.

Meanwhile, the authorities have snapped mobile internet services in the area to prevent any law and order situation.

-ARK