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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dalgate demonstration over student’s ‘killing’
Soz condemns, says Soniaji’s Congress is for zero-tolerance of HR abuse


SRINAGAR, Jan 9: With the business hub of Lalchowk and Maisuma continuing shutdown to press the traders’ demand of removal of CRPF bunkers, situation in Civil Lines here deteriorated further today as a critically wounded student died at a hospital and residents of his locality, Dalgate, alleged that the 17-year-old had been killed by Police. Suspected militants have, meanwhile, attacked two more surrendered militants, killing one of them on the spot, in Kulgam area of south Kashmir.

According to informed sources, class 11th student, Inayat Khan S/o Amanullah Khan R/o Malteng, Dalgate, was found lying in a pool of blood near Amirakadal Bridge during yesterday’s clashes between stone pelting groups and Police. Men in a three-wheeler rushed him to Bone & Joint Hospital Barzullah. Doctors found his rib fractured but referred him to SKIMS Soura as his excessive bleeding did not stop even after medical treatment. Doctors at SKIMS passed him through a surgery procedure to pump out coagulated blood from his lungs and other organs. However, he breathed his last at 2330 hours.

Death of the 17-year-old student spread like a wildfire as the allegation of ‘killing him in cold blood’ came as usual on Police and security forces. While the business hub of Lalchowk was shut on the fourth consecutive day to press the traders’ demand of removal of CRPF bunkers, tension gripped entire Civil Lines from Budshah Chowk and Amirakadal to Dalgate and Sonwar. Business remained suspended in 2 Km area but today’s tension had little impact on the normal life in rest of the capital city.

Blaming Police and security forces for “firing” upon the student and “crushing him to death”, residents of Dalgate area put up demonstrations, staged a dharna outside Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s residence on Gupkar Road and shouted anti-Police, anti-India and anti-Government slogans in front of the Srinagar headquarters of United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar. They demanded high level inquiry, dismissal of the personnel and penal punishment to the guilty as also delivery of dead body at Malteng.

After conducting post mortem and other procedures, Police handed over the dead body to the bereaved family. It was later buried amid emotional scenes and high tension at the local graveyard at Malteng.

SSP Srinagar, Javed Riyaz Bedar, told Early Times that Police had taken due cognizance of the matter and ordered a departmental inquiry. He said that Police would take necessary action as per law immediately after receiving findings of the inquiry and a detailed post mortem report. He said that even after the doctors at SKIMS had conducted a cursory post mortem, Police today got a complete post mortem conducted in presence of a magistrate.

Sources at SKIMS said that doctors had observed “broken rib and right femor fractured due to injury” and “alleged history of firearm”, suggesting that the youth had been hit by a bullet, tearsmoke shell, pellet or splinter. However, doctors who conducted the second autopsy did not find indication of firearm. Some of the demonstrators alleged that Inayat had been beaten up and later fired upon by Police but others insisted that he had been hit by a 407 vehicle. It was not immediately clear whether it was a civil or Police vehicle.

Hundreds of people later participated in the student’s funeral. They shouted pro-Azadi, pro-Islam and anti-India slogans. They claimed that the young student had been targeted during yesterday’s clashes when he was returning to home from a tuition centre.

Significantly J&K Pradesh Congress Committee President, Prof Saifuddin Soz, condemned the “killing” of Inayat Khan and alleged Police attack on the Graeter Kashmir photographer Amaan Farooq. “I strongly condemn the killing of teenager Inayat Khan at Dalgate, Srinagar, Kashmir, and an attempt on the life of a Greater Kashmir photo journalist Amaan Farooq”, he said in a press release today.

Without directly holding Omar Abdullah’s government responsible, Soz added: “The Congress Party as coalition partner in J&K State will strongly adhere to the commitment of UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr Manmoham Singh’s commitment of zero tolerance to human rights violations. While it is true that law and enforcing agencies, including Para forces and J&K Police, have done commendable work to containing terrorists in the J&K State, there are elements in such agencies who do not understand that innocent lives have to be protected at all costs. I urge the J&K State administration to institute a high-level enquiry into incidents involving innocent persons”.

This is for the first time that a coalition partner leader had sought to be judgmental in advance of an investigation and held the “elements in agencies” responsible for a grave human rights abuse in Jammu & Kashmir since the formation of Omar Abdullah government these days last year.

Meanwhile, suspected militants have opened fire on two more surrendered militants, namely Gul Mohammad Dar S/o Jalal-ud-din Dar R/o Brazloo and Samir Ahmed Bhat S/o Abdul Rashid Bhat, at Kaimoh in Kulgam area of south Kashmir today. Gul Mohammad Dar died on spot and Samir Ahmed Bhat was rushed to a Srinagar hospital with critical injuries. Militants had similarly gunned down a former militant in Sopore yesterday.


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