My Son Was Beaten To Death: Mother of Fateh Kadal Youth

SRINAGAR —The family members of 30-year old, Rayees Habibullah Sofi, who was killed along with two militants in an encounter at Fateh Kadal locality of downtown Srinagar Wednesday said that their son was “beaten to death” by the government forces. They denied claims of the forces that he was an over ground worker (OGW).

Rayees’s mother, Shakeela, said that  at around 12 pm soldiers barged into their house after breaking the door. “We got very much frightened, the force personnel start abusing and kicking us and were looking for militants. Then they went upstairs and dragged out my two sons, Rayees Habibullah and Mudasir Habibullah.  In the meantime, my husband fell down and Mudasir somehow managed to take him to the hospital,” she said.

Shakeela further added that forces took Rayees upstairs and asked him to locate the militants. They started beating him, she said. “I could hear his screams sir muje kuen maar rehay hou, maine kai kiya (Sir why you are beating me? What did I do?) They beat him ruthlessly and we couldn’t do anything as we were surrounded by forces,” she said.

The mother of the slain youth said government forces later dragged her son out of the house and whisked him away in a jeep. “I begged to the security official to release my son and he told me that he will be released soon. At 6  am we were told that your son was an OWG and he has been killed in the encounter,” she said, as tears roll down her cheeks. “This is all lie, he was an innocent,” she lamented.

Rayees was a baker and ran the shop from the ground floor of his four-storied house, where militants were hiding. 

Two militants and a policeman were killed and three CRPF personnel got wounded in the gunfight, police said. The police also added that they were investigating the role of Rayees who was killed along with two militants in a gunfight.

“The complicity of Rayees Ahmad who was part of the group in providing shelter and logistics to the militants is being investigated,” said a police spokesman.

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