Protests In J&K’s Sopore Over Alleged Custodial Death, Internet Snapped

Protests have erupted in Jammu and Kashmir’s restive Sopore town after a shopkeeper was allegedly killed in police custody. The police maintain theman worked with terrorists and he died after escaping from police custody.


All internet services have been snapped in north Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town after death of a shopkeeper, allegedly in police custody, led to protests. The family has alleged that Irfan Ahmad Dar was tortured to death after he and his brother, Javid Ahmad, were picked up by police from their shop on Tuesday afternoon.

People’s Conference President Sajad Lone also tweeted about the alleged killing saying it “doesn’t’ add up” and that the police had done a “bad job” at “inventing a story”.

As the news of Dar’s death spread, protests broke out as relatives and neighbours gathered to mourn the alleged killing. Protesters shouted slogans against police and denounced the alleged custodial death of the 24-year-old man.

The police have claimed that Darworked with terrorists and died after he tried to escape from custody. A police spokesman said the body was found near a stone quarry but didn’t elaborate how Dar may have died.

“The man, while taking advantage of darkness and terrain, managed to escape regarding which a separate case has been registered. During a search, his body was found near a stone quarry of Tujjar Sharief,” said police statement.

The police statement also claims that two China-made hand grenades were recovered from Dar’s possession after he was picked up on Tuesday.

However, his family has said the recovery of grenades is “false” and that no weapons were recovered from the two brothers.

“They have killed an innocent man in custody. Irfan was picked up with his brother Javid yesterday (Tuesday). While Javid was released, we heard Irfan has been tortured to death in custody,” Dar’s relative said, requesting that he not be named.

“The policemen came in civilian dress at 12:30 in the afternoon (and took Irfan). They came back at 3PM and picked up Javid as well. No recovery of arms was made from here (the shop). I just can’t believe that he has been killed him in custody,” he said.

Low-speed internet services have been restored in the Kashmir valley in a phased manner since January this year. Internet services were suspended in August last year after the abrogation of Article 370 when Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories. High speed internet services have only been restored in only two districts till now.


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