Youth tortured, shot dead by militants in Shopian
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Dec 14: A 24-year-old man has been severely tortured and shot dead by suspected militants in Shopian area of South Kashmir.
Informed sources said that Rasikh Ahmad Khan son of Ghulam Hassan Khan, who used to run a photocopying unit at Imam Sahib, not far away from his village Wasuhalan, was found dead in an orchard in Turkawangam village in Shopian-Zainapora belt of South Kashmir on Monday. He had been tied to the trunk of walnut tree before being shot dead with an AK-47 rifle a little after last midnight.
Absence of a protest demonstration in Imam Sahib area was an indication that Khan was believed to have been killed by separatist militants. However, no militant organisation accepted responsibility of his assassination till late on Monday night. Reports said that the slain youth's funeral was conducted without some routine rituals which are usually dispensed with only in the burial of martyrs. "Around 2,000 people participated in the funeral procession, though there were neither any allegations nor an expression of anger against any specific group or individual.
DIG South Kashmir Nitish Kumar told STATE TIMES that he himself visited the village and perceived remarkable anger against the militants among the residents. He claimed that Khan was not a counterinsurgent source working for Police or security forces. "Hizbul Mujahideen's Waseem Malla group has suffered some reverses at out hands in the last few months. We have reports that the guerrilla organisation held so-called inquiry into some encounters, slapped charges of passing on information about the militants on Rasikh Khan and shot him dead. But I am sure he was never an informant with Police or security forces", DIG Nitish Kumar said.
SSP Shopian Altaf Khan said that Rasikh Khan was found dead with two AK-47 gunshots on his chest. "His heart had ripped off and he seemed to have died after last midnight", SSP said. He said he was optimistic of getting a breakthrough in this assassination "within 7 to 10 days". "It is 100% the handiwork of Waseem Malla's group. I am sure within a week we will know why he was shot dead and who were his killers", SSP added. He claim that Khan had no political, militant or counterterrorist background.