NEWS

Groom's Brother Found Dead In Kashmir With 300 Pellets In Abdomen

He was a 20-year-old ATM guard who had stepped out, when curfew was relaxed, to do his job.

04/08/2016 7:27 AM IST | Updated 04/08/2016 9:18 AM IST
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Danish Ismail / Reuters
Kashmiri men carry the body of Riyaz Ahmad, a civilian, who according to local media was killed by pellets fired by police, during his funeral in Srinagar August 3, 2016.

Shakeel Ahmad wanted a low-key, austere wedding this month to express solidarity with the scores of people who have lost their lives in protest in Jammu and Kashmir after the death of militant commander Burhan Wani. The family was planning the happy occasion on Wednesday when he got a call saying his brother's body was lying on the roadside in Srinagar's Chattabal area with his abdomen perforated with hundreds of pellets.

Shakeel's younger brother Riyaz had not returned home and his cellphone was going unanswered.

It's not sure if Riyaz was shot dead by Indian security forces, however, use of pellet guns is common among the police to deter a violent mob during protests in the restive state where Wani's death seems to have given a new life to the separatist movement.

The grief-stricken family has now postponed the wedding and is looking for answers even as the gruesome death led to new tensions in the area.

"My brother was killed in cold blood. There was no protest in the area and they (security forces) killed him for no reason," the Telegraph quoted Riyaz's brother Zahoor as saying.

Riyaz, 20, was an ATM guard and had gone to inspect an ATM machine in the area in the evening when curfew is relaxed. PTI reported that according to the X-ray report, the body showed presence of more than 300 pellets inside it.

Dozens of persons including several security force personnel were injured in fresh clashes as the death toll rose to 51 after Riayz's death.

Authorities also extended curfew to more areas of the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order but the orders were defied at many places including Chattabal area.

Clashes between protesters and security forces were reported from many parts of the Valley with Kulgam district in south Kashmir witnessing large-scale violence that left dozens of persons including several security personnel injured.

Police has registered a case under section 302 RPC (murder) against unknown security force personnel and started investigation into the case as there were no reports of any clashes last night in the area where the youth was found dead, the official said.

The authorities extended curfew to more areas of the Valley for maintaining law and order in view of violent protests yesterday that led to death of a youth in Lethpora area of Pulwama distict and injuries to several others.

Curfew remained in force in five police station areas of old city and was extended to Batamaloo, Shaheedgunj, Soura, Zadibal, Qamarwari and Bemina areas of the city as a precautionary measure.

Curfew was also imposed in Khanpora area of Baramulla district, Awanitpora and Pampore in Pulwama district while Anantnag town in south Kashmir also continued to remain under curfew.

Normal life remained affected for the 26th consecutive day in the Valley. Schools, colleges, business establishments, banks and private offices remained closed while public transport remained off roads.

The attendance in government offices was also thin, the official said. Mobile internet services continued to remain snapped in the entire Valley where the postpaid mobile telephony services have been restored across all networks.

The incoming facility on prepaid connections has also been restored, but the outgoing calls are barred on such numbers. The separatist camp has extended the shutdown call in Kashmir till August 5, calling for a march to Hazratbal shrine on Friday.

(With PTI inputs)

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