India: Violence Erupts in Kashmir After Engineering Student Found Dead

Adeel Shah
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160114-IN-kashmir-death-620 Indian Kashmiris attend the funeral of Owais Bashir Malik, who was found dead near railway tracks in Srinagar, Jan. 14, 2016.

The Jammu and Kashmir state government on Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into the killing of a student, whose throat-slit body was found on railway tracks in Srinagar two days after he went missing.

The death of 21-year-old engineering student Owais Bashir Malik triggered violent protests in Srinagar. Police fired teargas to bring the situation under control.

The violence erupted when protesters, demanding an inquiry into the killing, started throwing stones at members of the security forces, police said.

Malik’s body was discovered in the Humhama area of Srinagar on Thursday, police spokesman Manoj Kumar Pandita told BenarNews, adding that police hoped to crack the case soon.

“We have ordered an inquiry into the student’s death. The probe will be carried out by Srinagar’s additional deputy commissioner,” Farooq Ahmad Lone, Srinagar’s district commissioner, told BenarNews.

More than 70,000 people have been killed, a majority of them by Indian security forces, since an insurgency broke out in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, with separatist leaders demanding freedom from Indian rule.

More than 8,000 Kashmiris have gone missing since 1989. In many of these cases, Indian servicemen are suspected to have played a role, according to the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP).

‘Speedy probe’

Mainstream political parties in the state also demanded that Malik’s killing be investigated.

“There should be a speedy probe into the death of the youngster,” Nasir Aslam Wani of the National Conference party told BenarNews.

In a joint statement, state lawmakers Amirakadal and Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said “police should probe the incident expeditiously and demystify the cause of death. The culprits need to be identified immediately so that stringent punishment is given to them as is warranted under law.”

Despite the launch of a magisterial inquiry, Srinagar residents expressed pessimism that it would yield substantive results.

“We have seen the government order many probes into similar incidents, but it never leads to any one getting caught or punished,” software engineer Mir Faizan Ahmad told BenarNews. “So, Kashmir resident can’t really be blamed for not having any hopes from this inquiry.”


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