Congress ex-Sarpanch dies in mysterious shooting after month long detention for stone pelting, GA Mir terms it “political” murder

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J&K Unit of All India Congress members addressing a presser in Srinagar on Oct 24, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

J&K Unit of All India Congress members addressing a presser in Srinagar on Oct 24, 2016. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

KL News Network

SRINAGAR

A young man in Dooru was gunned down in Dooru Thursday evening in the most mysterious circumstances. He was a close confidant of Congress’s state president and was in detention for nearly a month and was being driven home by the police itself, reports reaching here said.

Identified as Sajad Ahmad Malik, a resident of Batagund, he was arrested by police on charges of mobilizing people and organizing stone pelting during the four-months old unrest started with the killing of rebel Burhan Wani.

As protests started in Dooru, there are various versions in circulation for the killing.

One report quoting local police sources suggest Malik was unwell, was driven to hospital where he snatched weapon from the SPO, who had taken him there, and tried to flee. Then RR-19 soldiers were around who killed him.

Congress’s state chief G A Mir told Kashmir Life that Malik was a “poor, young and honest” man who belonged to a Congress family for a long time. “Police accused him of stone pelting and were after him and finally arrested him almost a month back,” Mir said. “His family managed to get him a bail from the court but the police would not release him saying he should have sufarish from the ruling party.”

Mir said finally the police sent him home on Thursday with an SPO Mashooq Ahmad. “He leaves Malik at Agnoo and return to police station,” Mir, speaking from Jammu said. “Malik is killed and I take it as politically motivated custodial killing.”

Mir said his family has told him that Malik was killed by army but the issue is “if it was an encounter how can SPO survive?” He said he is seeking a judicial investigation into the “politically motivated murder.”

In Srinagar, a senior police officer said they are investigating the incident which is “pretty mysterious”. The officer, who talked to Kashmir Life anonymously, said SPO is isolated in the police station and his debriefing will help understand the incident fully. The officer admitted Malik was in “illegal custody” because “he was bailed by the court but the police had not released him”.

“What I know is Malik was desperate to go home and had complained of blood pressure so Mashooq drove him on the bicycle to the hospital,” the officer said. “There are evidence that he reached hospital and then there was a shot in air and soon after there is another firing incident in Aagnu where Malik is killed.”

Aagnu is located in between Dooru and Batagund, and is almost equidistant from both the spots, locals suggest.

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