Armed forces

Kashmir Update: Army Allegedly Beats Lecturer to Death; Million Plus Pellets Fired Since July 8

Women take part in a sit-in protest against the killing of civilians in Srinagar on Thursday. Credit: PTI

Women take part in a sit-in protest against the killing of civilians in Srinagar on Thursday. Credit: PTI

Friday is the 42nd day of curfew in Kashmir, as tensions remain high in the Valley and clashes between protestors and security forces continue.

Lecturer allegedly beaten to death by the army

A civilian in Kashmir was allegedly beaten to death by the army on Wednesday evening, taking the death toll to 66, reports said. The incident took place in Khrew, part of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, when security forces entered 30-year-old lecturer Shabir Ahmad Mangoo’s home and beat him, the Indian Express reported. He was then taken away by the forces and his body brought to a hospital early on Thursday morning.

Locals have also alleged that the army and Jammu and Kashmir police’s special operations group personnel raided the village last night, The New Indian Express reported.

Jammu and Kashmir police have registered an FIR on the incident.

“He (Shabir) was brought dead to hospital,” block medical officer Pampore, Dr Saba, told The Indian Express. “He was brought to hospital by police and he had external injuries on face and chest”. Saba said that Shabir’s body was brought to hospital at around 5:30 am and was then taken back by the police.

Mangoo’s father spoke to Firstpost about the incident. “We had just finished dinner and were sitting in his (Ahmad’s) room. All of a sudden there was noise outside and the army entered our house. They dragged my son out and started beating him mercilessly. We tried to stop soldiers, but they kicked us and whisked him away,” said Wali Muhammad Mungoo.

Lieutenant-General Satish K. Dua, Chinar Corps commander, told reporters in Srinagar on Thursday that Mangoo’s death was “regrettable”, but also added that it was a “joint patrol”.

People in the area came out in large numbers to protest the killing, New Indian Express reported.

More than a million pellets used in 32 days

Injured people being treated at SMHS hospital in Srinagar on Thursday following clashes between protesters and security forces. Credit: PTI

Injured people being treated at SMHS hospital in Srinagar on Thursday following clashes between protesters and security forces. Credit: PTI

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has fired over 3,000 pellet cartridges – or 1.3 million pellets – in Kashmir since protests began after security forces killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. The CRPF submitted this information to the Jammu and Kashmir high court on Thursday, The Hindu reported.

The court is hearing a PIL petition seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns. The PIL was filed by Jammu and Kashmir high court Bar Association on July 30. The CRPF and BSF have submitted their replies, but the state government is yet to respond. The next hearing is on August 20.

Security forces have argued against withdrawing pellet guns, saying in their affidavit, “In case this (pellet shotgun) is withdrawn, the CRPF would have no recourse in extreme situations but to open fire with rifles, which may cause more fatalities.”

While admitting that the weapon should be aimed below the waist, the CRPF argued that “the situation prevailing on the streets during the ongoing law and order incident is dynamic and mobile.”