Boys Death Sparks Clashes in Pattan

Pattan: Police resorted to heavy tear-gas shelling to disperse the protesters on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road near Singhpora Pattan in North Kashmir on Monday. The protesters were enraged at the death of a labour and were demanding probe into the incident.

Eyewitnesses said that an enforcement team from Geology and Mining Department arrived near a rivulet near Singhpora Pattan to stop the labourers from extracting sand illegally from the Nallah. Witnesses added that to save himself from getting caught a tractor driver fled from the spot in a hurry and after crossing some distance, his speedy tractor turned turtle resulting in his on the spot death.

The sudden accidental death of Ghulam Mohiuddin Malik son of Abdul Rehman sparked violent protests in the area. Hundreds of protesters blocked Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road and clashed with the police. The protesters alleged that it was a police team that scared the tractor driver, who in a hurry lost control over his tractor, a charge refuted by the police.

The protesters smashed windowpanes of scores of private and public vehicles. Police swung into action and charged protesters with canes. However, the protesters continued to hurl stones on vehicles, forcing police to resort to tear-gas shelling. During the clashes, several cops and protesters were injured.

Deputy Inspector General of Police for North Kashmir Gareeb Das said that they have registered an FIR and investigation has been taken up. “Geology and Mining team had arrived there to initiate action against those persons who extract sand illegally from the river. We are trying to find out how the labourer died,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sub Division Magistrate Pattan Hameeda Akhtar said that a team has been constituted to probe the incident. (CNS)

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