25-Yr-Old Man Blown Up in Handwara

Locals allege forces killed him; We are investigating: Police

SRINAGAR: Protests erupted in Handwara on Friday over the alleged killing of a local man by security forces with the people taking to streets against the incident which they believe was a fake encounter staged by the army.

The protesters accused that on Friday morning, two suspicious persons on a motor cycle (JK01S-0147), arrived in Lach Mawar area of Handwara and picked up a one Zahoor Ahmad Najar. 

The protesters said that the duo took Zahoor to a nearby forest area where after 15 minutes, they heard a huge explosion. Locals said that when they tried to move towards the forests to inquire about the incident, the government forces didn’t allow them to move ahead, saying the militants have carried out attack against forces in the forests.

A local Sarpanch Ghulam Mohammad Tantary said that locals moved towards the forest area soon after the explosion where they saw an injured person moving out of the place.

Locals later tried to shift to the nearby hospital for treatment “As we were shifting that injured person to the hospital, we saw another person in pool of blood with the hand grenades tied around his body,” said the Sarpanch, adding that in the meantime, local legislator Engineer Rashid arrived there.

When contacted, Rashid said that he along with other locals reached the site of the accident and saw an injured person tied with grenades. “He was later identified as a 25 year old Zahoor Ahmad Najar, a local carpenter. I myself untied those grenades from his body by a knife. We later shifted him to the Handwara hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival,” Rashid said.

According to the eyewitnesses, after the explosion Najar was lying in pool of blood with some of his body parts amputated. Locals accuse that the two persons who picked up Zahoor on their motor cycle were the security personnel and are associated with Nowgam army camp. Locals said that the two security men were also injured during the explosion and they have been identified as head constable Ravider Chogli and constable Nitesh Kumar. 

Locals said that both the injured security personnel were airlifted from the area and shifted to the Kupwara army hospital.

Police later reached to the scene along with the bomb disposal squad that disposed the grenade lying near the site. Police has also seized a motor cycle (JK01S-0147), that was reportedly used by the security persons to pick up Najar.

As the news of the death of Najar spread in the entire area, people took to streets and protested against the incident. 

Addressing protesters, Rashid said that the slain youth will not be buried until the police registers the case of killing against the security personnel and initiates thorough investigation. “I give them five days time, till then they have to complete the investigation so that culprits are brought to book. If police fails to register case against the killers of Zahoor, I would not allow any person or party to hold any election rally in the area,” he warned.

“We played with our lives by throwing away the grenade despite being non-professionals. The army was watching like mute spectators,” MLA said, adding: they should have called Bomb Disposal Squad.

He said the youth Zahoor Ahmad was a carpenter by profession and has had no militant links.

According to SP Handwara Ghulam Jeelani police has started investigating the case and further investigations will be carried after the FIR is registered about the incident. 

He, however, maintained that till the investigations are complete, no conclusion can be drawn out of the incident.

The Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Itrat Hussain Rafique told KNS over phone that he has asked the police to investigate the matter. He said that he himself went on spot to access the situation and also assured the family of the slain person that investigation in to the case shall be completed on priority. “ Zahoor was later buried with proper funeral,” the DC said. With inputs from KNS

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