SRINAGAR: Panic gripped Sopore after a young man’s mysterious death. Authorities have snapped internet facilities in the north Kashmir town late last night.

Irfan Ahmad Dar, a Sopore shopkeeper who was arrested on September 15 and later recovered dead near a stone query

Reports quoting family sources said Irfan Ahmed Dar, a professional shopkeeper, was arrested from his residence by the SOG Kralgund Sopore on September 15. He was accused of being an overground worker of the militants.

The news of Dar’s death was broken by a police spokesman.

Confirming that Dar was arrested around midnight on September 15, from his Sidiq Colony residence, the spokesman said he was arrested along with two Chinese hand-grenades. After registering a case (FIR No 257/2020 U/S 18 ULA (P) Act, 7/27 A Act), the spokesman said a police team took him to Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief “for affecting some more recovery on the disclosure of the OGW.”

“The OGW while taking advantage of darkness and terrain managed to escape regarding which a separate Case FIR No 71/2020 U/S 224 IPC was registered in Police Station Bomai and during the search the body of OGW was found near Stone Quarry of Tujjar-Sharief,” the spokesman added.

Subsequently, the body was driven to the Police Control Room Srinagar for “fulfilling medical and other legal formalities and final disposal.”

Protests break out in Sidiq Colony Sopore over the alleged death in custody of Irfan Ahmad Dar, a shopkeeper. Police said he was an OGW who escaped from custody. Photo: FB

The family, however, has rejected the police claim, insisting Irfan was killed in custody. “I along with Irfan was picked up by police for questioning on September 14 and we were kept separately,” Javed Ahmad, brother of Irfan was quoted saying by a local news gathering agency. “I was set free, but my brother was kept in the police custody.” He alleged that his brother was killed in police custody. “My brother was innocent and shopkeeper by profession. Police claim about the recovery of grenades is baseless,” he has further said.

Javid challenged the police that let them come with even an iota of evidence to prove their claims. “For the last more than one and half months, you can have evidence of my brothers’ daily engagements from his mobile and his continued presence in the shop,” Javaid said, insisting that the cops arrested him as well despite being unwell. “As my condition deteriorated, they rang up my family telling them they take me home.”

In anticipation of the tensions, authorities snapped the internet facilities to the area. The body has not been handed over to the family so far. The family has protested against the killing in their own area, the Sidiq Colony.

Meanwhile, Apni Party on Wednesday demanded a high-level probe into the circumstances surrounding the death of Irfan Ahmad Dar, a 23-year-old youth from Sidiq-Colony, Sopore.

In a statement issued here, Javid Baig, spokesman of Apni Party demanded that the government must constitute an inquiry into the incident in order to ascertain the veracity of contradictory claims made by police and family of the deceased youth.

“Even if the claims of the police are true that the slain youth was an overground worker who allegedly took advantage of the darkness to escape and during the search, his body was found at Tujjar-Sharief, the police cannot be absolved of its responsibility warranted under law. The circumstances which led to his death need to be probed in order to find the truth,” Baig added.

He urged the Lt Governor Manoj Sinha, to order a time-bound probe taking into account all the aspects of the unfortunate incident which has triggered a fresh wave of anger and alienation in the whole area. “The claims made by police and the bereaved family into this unfortunate incident cannot be ascertained unless impartial investigations are conducted into this incident in a time-bound manner,” Baig demanded.


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