J&K youth held for terror link found dead | India News

SRINAGAR: A 23-year-old Kashmiri arrested on suspicion of being an “overground worker” of a terrorist outfit was mysteriously found dead near a quarry in Baramulla district early Wednesday, triggering allegations of custodial torture and protests that prompted the administration to suspend internet services in the Sopore area.
J&K Police said the deceased, Irfan Ahmad Dar of Sideeq Colony, escaped while being taken to the Tujjar-Sharief area to verify information provided by him regarding a suspected arms dump. His body was found a couple of hours later, an officer said.
Till late in the night, there was no confirmation of how the youth died. The police claimed his body bore no injury marks.
Irfan’s family contested the police’s claim, saying he was arrested without any proof of his alleged involvement in subversive activity and possibly tortured to death in custody. “Our residence has CCTV cameras. You can check footage recorded over a month-and-a-half and if you find any clue that we harboured terrorists, I am ready to face any punishment you may pronounce,” said the youth’s elder brother Javed, who had also been picked up but was let off when his health deteriorated.
Javed was released at 11pm on Tuesday, seven hours after his arrest.
“No recovery (of ammunition) was made from our place, as claimed by the police. Ten days ago, they had alleged that a terrorist was hiding in our residence. We asked them to check the CCTV recordings,” he said.
In a statement, the police said Irfan had been arrested at 12.45pm on Tuesday and two hand grenades of Chinese make seized from him. “During the course of the investigation, a police team visited the Chairdaji area of Tujjar-Sharief along with the OGW (overground worker) for some more recoveries based on his disclosure. In the meanwhile, the OGW managed to escape, taking advantage of the darkness and terrain.”
A separate case was registered at Bomai police station regarding his escape, the statement said.
The PDP termed Irfan’s death a “custodial murder”. A spokesperson for the party said, “This excruciating episode has once again served as a grim reminder of how truth is mangled and stories are fabricated to justify killing innocent civilians in J&K.”
Accusing the Centre of trying to justify “its repressive, unconstitutional, inhuman and extremely violent measures upon the people of Kashmir”, the PDP said that all it needs is a “militancy narrative”.
National Conference demanded a probe into the circumstances of Irfan’s death. “The family of the deceased has a different view, necessitating an impartial and time-bound inquiry.”

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