Srinagar, August 18 (The Hindustan Times): Kashmir was seething with anger after a 30-year-old college lecturer, Shabir Ahmed Mangoo, was beaten to death at Khrew in Pulwama district of South Kashmir by the Indian army and the Kashmir police allegedly in custody.
With that the death toll in the ongoing unrest in the Kashmir Valley went up to 67. The valley has been under curfew and a strike for the last 41 days.
Early morning, the army handed over Mangoo’s body to the people of his village and the army apologized for the killing.
The locals alleged that the lecturer was beaten to death as there were visible torture remarks on his body. He is survived by wife and a toddler son.
The people of Khrew alleged that army and Jammu and Kashmir police’s Special Operations Group (SOG) personnel raided the village last night.
“During the raid, army and SOG men barged into houses, ransacked household goods and beat up the inmates, causing injuries to dozens of people including women and children. Army men also dragged about 30 youth and took them to their camp, where they were beaten,” they alleged.
People in large numbers including men and women took to the roads in the area this morning to protest the killing. Chanting anti-army, anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, they clashed with army, police and paramilitary personnel. The security personnel fired tear gas shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse them. The security men also fired many rounds in air. Many people sustained injuries in the clashes.
The General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua termed the death of civilian as “regrettable” and said it will investigate the incident.
“It was a joint patrol of army, police and CRPF. We will thoroughly investigating the incident,” Lt Gen Dua told reporters on sidelines of Passing Out Parade of new recruits into army at JAKLI Centre in outskirts of Srinagar, here.
A police spokesman also said police has taken cognizance of the matter and investigation has been taken up.
Over 8500 people have been injured in the clashes between security personnel and youth during protests in last 41 days in the Valley. Trouble started in Kashmir after the army killed Hizbul Mujahideen leader ,the 22 year old Burhan Wani, in an encounter on July 8.
The authorities continued to enforce tough curfew and restrictions in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley for the 41 st. consecutive day on Thursday. The police and paramilitary personnel had erected barricades and placed concertina wires on the roads to restrict the movement of people.
A police officer said the curfew and restrictions were imposed to foil separatists “UN March”.
On Tuesday after five civilians were killed in security forces firing in the Valley, separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called on people to stage a 72-hour “UN March” from Wednesday morning to inform the world body about the human rights violations being committed by the Indian Security Forces in Valley.
Youth at many places in the Valley today defied curfew and restrictions and staged anti-India demonstrations. Chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, the protestors were demanding an end to civilian killings. At some places the protestors clashed with the police and CRPF men, who fired tear smoke shells and pellets and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse the agitating people. Many protestors suffered injuries in the clashes.
Police said a mob assembled and attacked the house of MLA Shopian in South Kashmir last night.
On Thursday the separatist leaders extended the strike up to August 25.