The Peninsula /  January 16 2006 / (IANS)

Youth’s death triggers protest in Kashmir

Srinagar: Angry villagers in Jammu and Kashmir blocked a highway yesterday to protest the death of a youth due to injuries sustained while he was in the custody of the Indian Army. Shouting slogans, the villagers marched with the body of the youth on the highway at Inderkote village in Baramulla district, 48km from here.

A police officer here said soldiers of the Rashtriya Rifles picked up two youths — Abdul Majid Parray and Fayaz Ahmad — from Inderkote three days ago. The soldiers handed them over to the police station at Sopore on Saturday in a critical condition. "The station house officer of Sopore police station immediately shifted the two youths to the local hospital, and doctors later referred them to Srinagar for specialised treatment," he said.

Parray succumbed to his injuries at SMHS hospital here Sunday morning. The condition of Ahmad was described as serious. As the news of Parray’s death reached Inderkote, hundreds of villagers braved heavy snow and biting cold to come out on the Srinagar-Bandipore highway as a mark of protest.

The angry villagers gathered outside the local police station and shouted anti-India slogans. They demanded that Parray’s body be handed over to them and this was done late yesterday afternoon. The villagers then marched on the highway with the body. Local officials assured the protesters that action would be taken against those involved in Parray’s death. Police officials said a case had been registered and an inquiry ordered into the killing, the second such death this week.

Authorities last week ordered a probe and registered a case against security forces involved in the arrest and subsequent killing of another youth at Srigufwara village in south Kashmir.