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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kashmiri IAS aspirant’s brutal killing shakes Uri

Lucknow Police files FIR, post mortem confirms murder

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, Feb 14: Ruling National Conference’s Lok Sabha member from North Kashmir, Sharief-ud-din Shariq, seems to be programmed to raise hue and cry over the killing of only those of his voters who die at the hands of Police and security forces. Same party’s Rajya Sabha member, Mohammad Shafi Uri, who served several times as MLA of Uri and a Minister in J&K, appears to be more concerned on political news than the crime done to the Kashmiris outside. Sitting MLA from Uri and Congress’ Minister of Irrigation, Taj Mohi-ud-din, is apparently preoccupied with dousing the in-house flames of his party that were fast leaping onto him, Peerzada Sayeed and some other of his Cabinet colleagues. Hurriyat’s tropical plant of Azadi has never taken root in temperate Uri.

So, death of the IAS aspirant, Syed Danish Ali Naqvi of Kamalkote, in extreme brutality in the UP capital city of Lucknow, goes unnoticed, ignored and uncondemned. The story of transportation of the dead body, that took full five days, from Lucknow to Uri, is no less pathetic.

According to his three roommates, one from Poonch and two from Budgam district of J&K, twenty-two-year old Danish walked out of the privately hired accommodation in Sarfarazgunj are of Lucknow at 2200 hours on January 31st, in informal outfits without telling them that he would draw some money from the local ATM. As he did not return for the whole night, they thought he was participating in a religious function in their neighbourhood.

As the boy remained untraced on February 1st, Danish’s roommate, Murtaza of Poonch and two others called his cousin Syed Anwar Shah who is a student of Islamic studies at Jamia Imamiya Tanzeem-ul-Makkatib, Golagung. Danish’s three roommates from J&K, one more from Barabanki UP and cousin Anwar continued their search but failed to get any clue. Why didn’t they inform Police? “We thought it is election time here and Police would arrest and harass all the Kashmiri students”, Anwar revealed to Early Times.

Finally, some labourers working at construction of Era’s Medical College hostel informed Police that there was a dead body hanging against a tree in the nursery. Police reached the spot, took the body into custody and recovered Danish’s belongings. These included cash of Rs 10080, an ATM card of J&K Bank besides the Identity Card of M-Tech Academy’s coaching centre, where the slain youth was enrolled in English Speaking Course. He had planned for go for MBA but not before trying his luck in current year’s IAS examination. After completing his BA from Degree College in Uri, Danish had left for the coaching in Lucknow four months ago.
According to Anwar, some shopkeepers revealed to Police that they had spotted some strangers at around midnight of February ½ who were in a Wagon car with its number plate covered by mud. They asked for tea which was not available that time. Then they returned. Police on the spot found tyre marks of a Wagon R from the plantation backyard of the famous Era’s Lucknow Medical College and Hospital. According to eyewitnesses, the body was hanging against a tree, with both hands tied in the back. Gaping wounds in the area of neck and ears indicated forceful strikes of a sharp sword.

Men from Balagunj Police Division and Thakurgunj Police station took next two days in registration of a “death in mysterious circumstances” and completing medico-legal formalities. The inquest proceedings conducted under section 174 CrPC found it a plain case of murder.

Dead body was returned to the young student Syed Anwar with a preliminary post mortem observation that suggested that Danish had died of “asphyxia caused due to strangulation”. With everybody busy in Assembly elections, none among Police or civil administration came to Anwar’s help till his relatives sent him e-tickets.

After a great deal of hassles, that includes a bitter exchange between the Kashmir Divisional Commissioner’s OSD and Resident Commissioner in New Delhi, Anwar succeeded in carrying the body to Kamalkote, close to LoC in Uri sector, for funeral. From February 2nd to 6th, the embalmed body remained in unattended rooms, airport mortuaries and transshipment.

Danish’s barbaric murder has shaken up not only the father Syed Rehmat Shah Naqvi and his family but also sent shockwaves all across Uri. “We are completely shattered and are left with no strength to call for investigation and justice. We are broken. How can we approach officers and politicians to seek their help?” 50-year-old Rehmat Shah, who works as Assistant Executive Engineer in Rural Engineering Wing of the state Rural Development Department in Sopore, bemoaned. Danish’s mother, Sayyeda Nazir Fatima, lost her mental balance with the first news of her son’s slaying. After a week of treatment at SKIMS Medical College and Government Psychiatric Diseases Hospital in Srinagar, she was carried back to her village today.

Rehmat Ali said that the Investigating Officer contacted him on phone today and informed him that it had been established as a murder case. He told him that the investigation was underway but none of the suspects had been arrested or interrogated in the last over one week. Even the motive of the murder, which was all the more blind after recovery of the entire amount of cash Danish had drawn from the ATM, was found intact. His other belongings, including his cellphone were all in his room, though he made a call to his younger brother Muntazar between 11.00 pm and 1.00 a.m on the fateful night. He wanted to talk to his mother, who was however admitted at SKIMS Medical College Bemina. He put off the call, telling Munatazar that he would call next day.

DIG/SSP of Lucknow, D K Thakur, told Early Times over phone from Lucknow that Police had converted the matter into a murder case but there had been no headway. “We have not been able to do anything substantial so far”, DIG said. He added that the investigation was in progress.


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