Protests broke out in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district today after the police found the body of a man who had gone missing in army custody. Protesters demanded justice and blamed the security forces for the alleged custodial death.
Abdul Rashid Dar, a driver, was picked up by the army for questioning on December 15. Since then his family has held protests demanding his release. The army said Dar, 33, fled from their custody.
The police said they found the body at a forest in Zirhama village. A medical board conducted the autopsy and handed over the body to the family after identification. “After inputs, we were searching the forest area for last the three days. Today, we found the body,” said Kupwara Senior Superintendent of Police Yogul Manhas.
Mr Manhas said the police filed a “missing person” report in December, after which the army told them that Dar has fled from their custody. “The army has given us in writing that Abdul Rashid Dar fled from their custody,” said Mr Manhas.
But Dar’s family and the villagers are not convinced. They alleged that he was killed in custody. The family said Dar had health issues and had undergone two surgeries. The army raided his home at Kunan Poshpora village on December 15. “Abdul Rashid was having dinner when the troops raided his home. He was dragged out of the house and taken into custody. Next morning, the army said he has fled from their custody,” a family member said.
Soon after the body was handed over to the family, a large crowd turned up to join the protest, alleging Dar was killed in custody. They slogans demanding justice.The police said they are investigating the case and there will be more clarity about the cause of death after they get the autopsy report.