NEW DELHI: Parties in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir have slammed a new surge of deaths in police custody and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference on Monday called for a probe into several incidents of “cold blooded custodial killings”.

A statement by APHC chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed grave concern and anguish over “the cold blooded custodial killings of young boys”.

He said the victims were arrested and then killed in so-called “encounters with militants“, while in police custody.

Mirwaiz cited the example of Shahid Ahmad Tantray, a resident of Shirpora Kulgam. He was allegedly killed “during a gunfight with militants” while in police custody.

Tantray was arrested by police as a so called “hybrid militant”.

“With these killings, the situation has become sinister as the lives of these arrested young men are in grave danger while in custody.”

The APHC fervently appealed to “all conscientious people of India and outside, and rights organisations” to take note of these killings and raise their voice and asks for a probe by independent agencies.

Security officials say a key feature of the current anti-India campaign in India-held Jammu & Kashmir is its “hybrid” nature because of the dual life of the alleged militants. They have observed that many alleged resistance individuals operating in Kashmir since 2020 lead mostly “regular” lives, including being engaged in activities like studying or working for most of the day, until they slip out to carry out an assigned attack and then return to their normal routine.

Demanding an impartial probe into the Shopian killing, former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the security situation has deteriorated in Kashmir. “In the name of hybrid militancy, Imran Ganie was arrested and then we are told that he was killed by militants while in custody of police. If militants can kill in police custody, how are common people going to be safe,” the Peoples Democratic Party president said.

Condemning the recent killing of migrant labourers by the alleged hybrid militants, she said: “There are allegations that it is the ‘catch-and-kill’ policy which was followed in Punjab where youngsters would get killed in police custody.

“We demand an impartial probe into the circumstances that led to Imran’s death. We have fears that as the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh come closer, the atmosphere in Kashmir would be vitiated so that the BJP can exploit the Hindu-Muslim game it has been playing even more,” she said.

The Kashmir unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) also sought a probe into the deaths.

Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2022

Opinion

A new beginning?

A new beginning?

Will the establishment consider two issues, neither immediate nor apolitical but which need introspection?

Editorial

Back to politics
29 Nov, 2022

Back to politics

LAST weekend, quite remarkably, passed without incident. PTI chairman Imran Khan was able to conclude his long march...
Election delay
29 Nov, 2022

Election delay

OF recent, leaders from the ruling PML-N have been dropping hints about a possible delay in general elections after...
Sugar woes
29 Nov, 2022

Sugar woes

IT’S that time of year again when cane growers get anxious over the delay in the commencement of the new sugar...
1971 in retrospect
Updated 28 Nov, 2022

1971 in retrospect

The point of no return came when the military launched Operation Searchlight in March 1971.
Gender-based violence
28 Nov, 2022

Gender-based violence

IT is a war without boundaries and seemingly without end. A UN report on femicide released on Nov 25, the...
Battle against dacoits
28 Nov, 2022

Battle against dacoits

THE Punjab police is clearly fighting a formidable, and so far losing, battle against the criminal gangs based in ...