Kashmir Shuts Down Against Custodial Death of Youth

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Srinagar, Aug 3: The complete shutdown was observed in Indian administered Kashmir on Wednesday to protest the custodial killing of a youth.

All shops, business establishments, government offices banks and educational institutions in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir and other parts of the region remained closed. Public transport was also off the roads while private vehicles were plying in uptown areas.

Some youth resorted to stone pelting in the Maisuma area of the city. In some areas of old city including Nowhatta, youth burnt old rubber tires to protest the custodial death of youth. They were demanding action against the policemen involved in the death.

In Sopore town of North Kashmir, stone pelting incidents were reported from various places. The youth hurled bricks and stones towards CRPF bunkers at Main Chowk and at Hathi Shah while scores of people assembled at old Jamia Masjid of the town. The policemen retaliated and the clashes continued for some time.

The shutdown call was supported by senior Kashmiri separatist leader Syed ali Geelani against the custodial death of 26-year-old youth Nazim Rashid Shalla on July 31.

Meanwhile, separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Nayeem Khan, Shahid-ul-Islam and Zaffer Akber Bhat continued to remain under house arrest.

In a related development, sources said government is contemplating to arrest police officials including sub inspector of SOG allegedly involved in the custodial death of Nazim Rashid Shalla of Sopore.

They said the police team, who had tortured Nazim included Sub Inspector, a selection grade constable and constable. “They might be arrested soon.”

They said the trio have already been placed under suspension while DySP Sopore was attached.

Sources said Muhammad Ahsan Mir, sub-divisional magistrate of Sopore, who is carrying out a magisterial probe into the death, has asked the police to provide details of all its personnel and officials posted on duty when Rashid’s death took place.

A top police official pleading anonymity said arrests would follow after the magisterial inquiry is complete. “As FIR has been registered under Section 302, some arrests are inevitable. The police men, who have been placed under suspension, may be arrested soon,” he said.