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Kashmiri Shopkeeper Succumbs to Injuries Sustained in Miscreants’ Assault

Srinagar, Dec 14: A young Kashmiri shopkeeper, who was critically injured in an attack of alleged stonepelters on December 3, succumbed to injuries in the region’s leading hospital on Wednesday.

Police said 35-year old shopkeeper Tariq Ahmad Bhat was grievously injured on December 3 when alleged stonepelters were enforcing strike in Nowhatta and adjoining areas in downtown Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir. “Tariq, who had a shop in Jamia Market in Nowhatta had a heated argument with a group of miscreants, who were enforcing a shutdown in the area. During this heated argument, one of the miscreants hit him on the head with a cricket bat. He sustained grievous head injuries and was immediately removed to Kashmir’s leading hospital SKIMS for specialized treatment,” his relatives said.

After remaining under critical condition in the hospital for 12 days, the shopkeeper succumbed to injuries this afternoon.

Pall of gloom descended on the Nowhatta area when his body was brought to his native places. Hundreds of people visited his residence to have a last glimpse of him and pay homage to him. The shopkeepers in the area pulled shutters of their business establishments and observed strike.

Later, hundreds of people attended his funeral prayers.

Tariq is survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.

While giving details, a police official said Tariq was severely beaten by a group of stonepelters on December 3 when he defied their dictates of enforcing a shutdown in the area. “On that day, a group of miscreants appeared in Nowhatta area and resorted to pelting stones on the shopkeepers to enforce a shutdown. Tariq objected to their dictates and refused to close his shop. The miscreants pelted stones on his shop and severely beat him with a cricket bat. He suffered serious head injuries and was taken to SKIMS, Soura for treatment, where he succumbed to injuries today.”

“Police Station Nowhatta registered a case FIR No: 84/2011 under section 307, 148, 149 and 336/RPC. Police has arrested four stonepelters involved in the killing of the shopkeeper,” he added.

This is the first incident of its kind in Srinagar, when the alleged stonepelters assault has lead to the death of a civilian.

Meanwhile, pro-Indian woman politician Mehbooba Mufti has expressed shock over the death of the young trader and demanded strong action against those who were responsible for his death.

She said politics cannot be enforced through the use of strong arm methods and those responsible for Tariq’s tragic death must be reprimanded.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.

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