Torture deaths reported from Kashmir

From Greater Kashmir: “Man killed in custody

“A youth was allegedly tortured to death in police custody at Panzala Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Varmul district last night, locals alleged.

While the Jammu and Kashmir government ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and suspended two cops for dereliction of duties, police claimed the youth had committed suicide.

The residents of Fidarpora Rafiabad told Greater Kashmir that Tariq Ahmed Dar, who hailed from the area, was detained by cops of police station Panzala few days ago. “Police held him on baseless charges of being a Lashkar-e-Toiba operative and did not allow the family to meet him in custody. We were shocked to see his body this morning. Police informed us that he ended his life by committing suicide in the lock-up,” they said. “But Tariq has been tortured to death as his body had visible torture marks .He was innocent and was not involved in any militancy related activity.”

Police had on July 18 claimed that Lashkar operative Tariq alias Jaffar injured a civilian named Abdul Majid Lone of Fidarpora with a bullet. However, the injured Lone had last week told Greater Kashmir that he saw two cops of Special Operations Group of police behind him, after he was shot. “To save the SOG men who wounded Lone, the police made Tariq a scapegoat and dubbed him as over ground worker of militants and accused him of firing at Lone,” the Rafiabad locals alleged.
On Sunday evening a team of doctors led by Block Medical Officer, Rohama, Muhammed Ramzan conducted the autopsy on Tariq’s body. Following this, the body was handed over to the family.

As Tariq’s body was brought to Fidarpora, hundreds of people immediately took to streets and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. The protesters demanded action against the cops, whom they accused of torturing Tariq to death in the custody. The protests continued till late in the night.”

From Greater Kashmir: “Young man’s body fished out of water”

“Body of a Batmaloo youth, who had gone missing on July 20, was fished out from a stream in downtown here on Sunday evening.

Police said that Farooq Ahmad Bhat, 28, son of Ali Muhammad Bhat of S D Colony, Batmaloo was “mentally disturbed” and had left from home on the morning of July 20. The family had later lodged a missing complaint in the police station, Batmaloo. “His body was retrieved from Kate Koal, Kani Kadal and was taken to Police Control Room for autopsy. It was later handed over to the family,” a police official said.

“He might have committed suicide,” he added.

As the word about Bhat’s death spread in the Batmaloo area, locals took to the streets and staged a massive demonstration. They raised anti-police and pro-freedom slogans and contested police claim saying it was a case of murder.

“His hands were tried by a belt and he had cut marks on his throat,” they said.

“It is a murder case and not a suicide,” they said.

According to family, Farooq was a dyer and had left home on Tuesday for Fajr (morning) prayers and didn’t return since then. He was to get married next month.

Pertinently, on July 5, three persons, including a woman died in police and CRPF firing on protesters at Batmaloo. The area since then has witnessed massive pro-freedom demonstrations.”

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