“Down with the Indian army” and “Prosecute the killers,” were the slogans that rattled Pakharpora, a village of Charar-i-Sharif in cetral Kashmir’s Budgam district 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state. People of the area took to streets alleging that army had killed a local youth Muhammad Maqbool Dar son of Muhammad Ramzan Dar in custody.
“We had just broken our fast on Friday and were preparing for the Shab-e-Qadr (the holiest night of the Holy month of Ramazan) when a group of soldiers dashed into the room and took him along. Today they returned his body,” said Muhammad Ramzan the father of the slain youth.
The villagers who were demanding action against the culprits buried the youth on Saturday only after civil authorities assured protesting villagers that that those guilty for the killing will be punished. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of the area, Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari told a local newspaper that, “The youth was arrested by soldiers on Friday and his body was recovered near the camp on Saturday. We have registered a murder case (FIR-114/2006) against the army unit.”
Meanwhile defense spokesman Lt. Col. A. K. Mathur, told a news agency that, “On Friday night, Maqbool complained that he was feeling unwell. We took him to hospital where doctors declared him dead. We have ordered a court of inquiry.”
Revolt in Indian Kashmir erupted in 1989 for independence or merger with Pakistan which controls the other part of the Kashmir and so far more than 68,000 people have been killed in the revolt which is still on.
Suhail A. Wani writes about Kashmir and can be reached at [email protected]