Police claims Dar escaped custody, family rebutts police version
Incident evokes widespread concern, political parties demand probe
Sopore, Sep 16 : The death of a 23-year-old youth Irfan Ahmad Dar son of Mohammad Akbar Dar on Wednesday created widespread anger and resentment across the apple town and its adjoining areas.
Dar was detained by police on Tuesday afternoon from his home at Sidiq Colony Sopore on the allegations of his alleged affiliation with some militant organization.
According to a statement issued by police Dar was apprehended and two Chinese Hand Grenades were recovered from his possession.
Accordingly, police have added, an FIR No. 257/2020 U/S 18 ULA (P) Act, 7/27 A. Act was registered in Police Station Sopore and the investigation taken up. During the course of investigation, a Police Team visited Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief along with OGW for affecting some more recovery on the disclosure of the overground worker (OGW), police statement reads.
It added, “in the meanwhile, the OGW while taking advantage of darkness and terrain managed to escape regarding which a separate case under FIR No. 71/2020 U/S 224 IPC was registered in Police Station Bomai and during search the body of OGW was found near Stone Quarry of Tujjar-Sharief”.
“The body was taken to the nearby PHC, wherefrom shifted to PCR Kashmir Hospital for fulfilling medical and other legal formalities and final disposal”, police said, adding further investigation has been initiated.
However, the family of Dar has categorically rejected the police claims saying that Dar was a shopkeeper and was not involved in any subversive activities.
Javeed Ahmad, brother of the slain youth told Kashmir Despatch, “I along with my brother Irfan were picked up by the police but later on I was released. however, Irfan was not allowed to return to his home until we came to know about his death today. The police is completely lieing and my brother was killed in custody.,”
Meanwhile, Dar’s family, relatives, neighbors, and the people from adjoining localities of Sadiq colony staged protest demonstrations seeking an impartial probe into the incident.
There was no vehicular movement in the main town and the protestors had blocked the main roads in the town.
Different political parties reacted sharply seeking a time-bound probe into the incident.
National Conference vice president and former chief minister Omar Abdullah on Wednesday urged the Lt., Governor Manoj Sinha, to intervene into the incidents like Shopian encounter and death of a Sopore youth whose family blames police for his alleged ‘custodial killing’.
Taking to micro blogging site, Twitter Omar wrote: ” The administration can not possibly win back the confidence of the people if “encounters” like Shopian or suspicious deaths like Sopore are allowed to pass without the facts being established & guilt, when determined, fully punished. @manojsinha_ must intervene in both these matters.”
Javid Baig, spokesman of Apni Party demanded that the government must constitute an inquiry into the incident in order to ascertain the veracity of contradictory claims made by police and family of the deceased youth.
““Even if the claims of the police are true that the slain youth was an over ground worker who allegedly took advantage of darkness to escape and during search, his body was found at Tujjar-Sharief, the police cannot be absolved of its responsibility warranted under law. The circumstances which led to his death need to be probed in order to find the truth,” Baig added.
He urged the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to order a time bound probe taking into account all the aspects of the unfortunate incident which has triggered a fresh wave of anger and alienation in the whole area. “The claims made by police and the bereaved family into this unfortunate incident cannot be ascertained unless impartial investigations are conducted into this incident in a time bound manner,” Baig demanded.
Peoples Conference Chairman and former minister Sajad Lone has tweeted on Sopore incident in which police claimed a youth of having escaped its custody and whose body was later found at Tujjar Shareif, a nearby locality of the town.
“Sopore incident just dosen’t add up. They have done a bad job even at inventing a story. The guilty need to be punished,” Lone tweeted.
Apparently, the PC chairman has taken a jibe on police alleging it of having invented a story on the death of Irfan Ahmad Dar, a 23-year-old youth from Siddiq Colony Sopore.
All Parties Hurriyat Conference, on the other hand has gone a step further to condemn the killing, by terming it a cold blooded murder.
Daughter of incarcerated Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister and PDP president, Iltija Mufti wrote on twitter, “The cold blooded murder of 23 yr old Irfan Ahmed Dar, a shopkeeper by profession wrongfully accused of being OGW is a grim reminder of how truth is mangled & stories are fabricated to justify killing of innocent civilians in J&K.”