Srinagar: Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) Chief, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Friday termed the killing of Sajad Malik alias Bita Malik, a former Congress sarpanch, as politically motivated.
Demanding a judicial inquiry into the killing, Mir alleged that it was a clear case of ‘custodial killing and a fake encounter’.
Mir said people have seen him riding on a motor bike driven by an SPO who later dropped him near Aagnoo village where he was killed by army.
Despite bail order by the court, police was not releasing him and he had been under detention for more than one and a half months, the PCC chief said.
According to a police spokesman, Sajad Malik, areleased militant had decamped with a weapon from a police station and was killed in retaliatory fire by Army in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.
“About 1720 hrs last evening an accused person identified as Sajad Malik alias Bita Malik decamped with an AK rifle along with one magazine from Police Station Dooru in Anantnag district, the spokesman said. “After firing some shots near the market, and taking advantage of the darkness he managed to escape towards Zamalgam, spokesman said adding on way near Cherikari he fired towards an army patrol. The fire was retaliated and in the exchange of fire Shabir Malik got killed.”
However, the family members and locals alleged that Malik was arrested for taking part in the demonstrations against the government during the unrest in the valley.
Killing 'Suspicious': NC
National Conference on Friday said the killing of Sajjad Malik, a former Sarpanch from Dooru, Anantnag was a highly suspicious issue that "exposed" claims of Mehbooba Mufti about the Government’s intentions to restore normalcy in the State.
Demanding a judicial probe into the incident, Former Cabinet Minister and National Conference South Zone President Sakina Ittoo and Leader Advocate Farooq Ahmed Ganai said the Government’s version of the incident was full of contradictions and conjectures and justice should be upheld at all costs.
“We demand a transparent, time-bound judicial probe into the incident and seek a direct answer from the Chief Minister,” the NC leaders said in the party statement. “When mainstream political activists and former Sarpanchs can be killed while in the custody of the Police, the Chief Minister should acknowledge the grave costs of her Government’s callousness and irresponsibility in dealing with the deteriorating situation in Kashmir.”
She said the government’s decision to treat the situation in Kashmir as a law and order problem alone has manifested into an atmosphere of impunity and such incidents are on the rise.
The NC leaders said the probe should take into account eyewitness accounts and testimonies of locals and relatives of Sajjad Malik and try to ascertain the truth with utmost objectivity.
“The varying claims and the contradictions and flaws in the account of the Police has raised red-flags. Such incidents defy claims of the Government about the normalization of the situation in the Valley, especially in South Kashmir”, the statement added.
“Every perceived miscarriage of justice and every act of an alleged extra-judicial operation sets us back as a State trying to overcome the trust deficit that has taken root due to a sense of impunity that has often been encouraged by political entities that have exploited the pain and suffering in the Valley for self-seeking interests. And hence it is all the more imperative that such incidents are probed transparently for the truth to come out”, the NC leaders added.
Impunity For Killings Must End: Tarigami
Strongly condemning the death of ex-sarpanch Sajad Ahmad Malik of Verinag under custody, senior CPI (M) leader and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has called for judicial probe into the incident to fix the responsibility and punish the culprits.
While expressing his condolences with the bereaved family, he said that such incidents are not only inhuman but shameful adding that impunity for such killings must be put to an end or else the consequences can be disastrous.
The CPI(M) leader urged upon the government to put across a strong message by bringing facts about this incident to the fore without delay. “Govt. should come out with all the facts available related to the incident, so that not only the affected family but people in general are relieved from dilemma about the circumstance which lead to the death of ex-sarpanch”, he demanded. (CNS)
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.