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Angry protest in Indian Kashmir's main city over killing

Angry protest in Indian Kashmir's main city over killing

Hundreds of people protested in the main city of the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir Friday, alleging that the army had killed a man in detention.
The army has denied the man had been arrested, saying he was a militant who had been killed in a gunbattle with troops.
The protesters, burning tires and chanting, "prosecute the killers," said 30-year-old Mohammed Yaqoub had been arrested in Srinagar, the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state, then taken to a distant village and killed by soldiers.
Police confirmed that they had received a missing person report on Jan. 22 from Yaqoub's father.
A police statement said the army handed over a body to police on Thursday, and that the body was later discovered to be Yaqoub's. The statement said the case is being investigated.
The demonstrators were furious.
"He was picked up from Lalchowk (market) and later killed in cold blood miles away," said Yaquoub's neighbor, Shabir Ahmed, who was leading the protests.
The army disputed the allegation.
"He was a militant, killed in exchange of fire with soldiers on Thursday," said Lt. Col. A.K. Mathur, an army spokesman in Srinagar.
The gunbattle took place in Pattan, 35 kilometers (20 miles) north of Srinagar.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where government forces are often accused of killing and torturing people they suspect to be tied to the militants. Authorities routinely investigate such allegations, but rarely prosecute those involved in the deaths.
Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan, and nearly a dozen rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 in the Himalayan territory's Indian-controlled section for independence, or for merger with Pakistan.
More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict.


Updated : 2021-02-27 00:46 GMT+08:00