Protests in Handwara Over Death of Civilian
Family members say that Shahid, the alleged terrorist, left home around 5 pm on Monday to purchase household items from a shop at Tarathpora, a few hundred yards away from the house, when he disappeared.
Picture for Representation. (Getty Images)
Srinagar: Locals from the Ramhal area of Handwara broke out in a massive protest on Thursday night after reports said that an alleged terrorist killed by security forces in Hafrada forest was a local third-year student.
Family members say that Shahid left home around 5 pm on Monday to purchase household items from a shop at Tarathpora, a few hundred yards from the house, when he disappeared.
“We came to know on Tuesday that while he was returning back home, an Army vehicle picked him up and he’s been missing since then,” said a family member, who added that they’ve even put up posts on social media asking for any information on Shahid.
“We received a phone call around 4 pm on Wednesday to identify a body at Vilgam Army camp. When we went there, we found the bullet-riddled body of our son Shahid.”
Family members were adamant that Shahid was not even remotely connected to militancy and was a regular student at a degree college in Handwara.
After news of Shahid’s death broke out, hundreds gathered in the area and amid pro-freedom slogans, started marching towards Tarathpora. The protestors placed the body of the slain youth at Tarathpora Chowk and refused to lay him to rest.
While the police said they were investigating the case, but as a precautionary measure have closed colleges in the area. Some schools in Baramulla have also been closed.
Meanwhile, the Army intensified searches in Handwara forest.
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Zone), Muneer Khan said, “He was a civilian. When the Army launched the operation on Wednesday, it was said that a terrorist was killed. But now it is being learnt that he was not a terrorist. How was he there? And with whom, is subject to investigation. There is no doubt that he is a civilian. He has been killed in cross-fire or something of that sort.”
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