Admin Orders Probe Into Sopore ‘Custodial Killing’

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 Irfan Ahmad – File photo

Srinagar: A day after a youth’s mysterious death triggered strong protests in Sopore, the district administration on Thursday ordered a magisterial inquiry to probe the allegations of the family that the youth was killed by police in custody.

The Deputy Commissioner Baramulla Dr G.N. Itoo on Thursday directed Additional District Magistrate Baramulla Muhammad Ahsan Mir to conduct enquiry into the alleged custodial killing.

“……In exercise of powers conferred upon me as district magistrate under section 176 of Criminal Procedure, Mr Muhammad Ahsan Mir, KAS, additional district magistrate Baramulla is order to conduct a magisterial enquiry in the above mentioned case so as to ascertain the causes and circumstances leading to the death of Mr Irfan Ahmad Dar Son of Muhammad Akbar Dar R/O Sidiq Colony Sopore,” reads the order.

The inquiry officer shall submit his report within a period of 20 days, the order reveals. The order states that allegations of custodial killing have been levelled against Sopore police.

“There was huge outcry in Sopore and even it is reported in the media that the deceased was picked up by Sopore police on 15-09-2020 and was therefore in their custody,” it further states.

The order further states that SSP Sopore also reported the incident to DC Baramulla vide his no. CRB/ ENQUIRY/176/28631-32 dated 16-09-2020.

On Wednesday, protests broke out at Sidiq-Colony area of Sopore after news spread that a youth Irfan Ahmad Dar, arrested by police a day earlier, has been found dead under mysterious circumstances.

While the family charged police of killing the youth in custody, the latter claimed that Dar was an OGW and his body was recovered near Stone Quarry of Tujjar-Sharief, hours after he escaped from the police taking cover of darkness and terrain during a search operation.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar said today that he believes Dar fell on a stone and may have had a cardiac arrest, and died while trying to flee when the police were taking him to a spot for recovering ammunition.

“The SP has said Dar was an OGW, hand grenades were recovered from his possession and that he was being taken to the spot for more recovery during the night when he fled. He had no arms, so he did not fire and our jawans also did not fire. After some time, they found him. He had fallen on a stone. He also had an injury on his foot. He was taken to a hospital. Post-mortem and COVID tests were done. His family was called and he was buried in Sonamarg,” Kumar said while replying to a query at a presser here on Thursday.

Asked why Dar’s body was not handed over to his family, he said earlier, there was a written agreement after a militant had died in Sopore that only 50 to 60 men would attend the funeral, but 2,000 people had turned up.

“So we had apprehensions that 10,000 or 20,000 people may gather at the funeral and there was a risk of the spread of the (COVID) pandemic. That is why the body was not handed over to family,” the IGP said.

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