Friday, October 19, 2007


In Kashmir, the killing of a teacher by members of the armed forces has sparked massive protests today in the border district of Kupwara in the north of the country.

Abdul Rashid Mir was on way to his school at Malsari village in Rawatpora, Kralpora area of Kupwara district when he was confronted by soldiers.

WebIndia reports sources say that amid a heated exchange of words, the troops opened fire on him. Mir was killed on the spot.

“They (troopers) checked his identity card and then shot him, killing him on the spot,” eyewitnesses said.

When the news of the killing of teacher spread, the villagers rushed to the forest area and took possession of the body. The army opened fire and used tear gas on the villagers but were forced into surrendering the body to the villagers.

About 10,000-15,000 angry villagers gathered at Mir's residence at Rawatpora and have reportedly refused to bury the body till action was taken against the errant soldiers, the sources said.

Angry protesters set ablaze army and government vehicles. They also demolished army bunkers along an eight km stretch of road in the area.

The Army on Friday ordered a court of inquiry into the killing.

The following story is taken from Greater Kashmir on Line.

Soldiers murder teacher in cold blood’

Srinagar, Oct 19: Cold-blooded murder of a teacher allegedly by Army soldiers triggered massive protests in frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir Friday. However Army termed the incident as “unfortunate” claiming that the teacher was killed in “accidental fire.”

Sources said the teacher Abdul Rashid Mir son of Ghulam Muhammad Mir of Rawatpora Kralpora was shot dead by the soldiers of Drangyari camp near Marchari this morning.

As the word about the killing spread in the area people raising pro-freedom and anti-troops slogans took to the roads and staged massive protests demanding stern action against the accused soldiers, the sources said.

The angry protesters set ablaze an Army Gypsy and the vehicle of local Tehsildar and refused to bury the body till FIR is registered against the accused soldiers, sources said.

They said Mir, a ReT teacher who had to walk 3 kilometres every day through a dense forest from his house to the school used to accompany two female teachers.

“Soldiers deployed in the forests had been harassing him for quite some time and had instructed him not to accompany the female teachers,” the sources said.

They said on Thursday soldiers snatched the identity card of the deceased and warned him of dire consequences if he dared to accompany the female teachers again.

According to the sources when soldiers spotted Mir accompanying the female teachers on Friday again, they first subjected him to third degree torture and then shot him dead.

“Soldiers after killing Mir were trying to bundle him into the Gypsy, but locals reached on the spot and attacked the soldiers and set ablaze the Gypsy,” the sources said, adding, “Sensing trouble, soldiers fled from the spot.”

Later, thousands of people took to the roads and staged a sit-in on Srinagar-Kuwpara road. Higher officials including Superintendent of Police and Tehsildar who reached the spot to pacify the protesters were taken hostage by the angry protesters, sources said, adding, “Protesters refused to lay Dar to rest till FIR is registered against the soldiers.”

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Afsandyar Khan told Greater Kashmir, “I have instructed the police to register a case and start investigations.”

Khan said Additional Deputy Commissioner would probe the matter.

Meanwhile Army’s Srinagar based spokesman in a statement here said, “Road-opening of Choukibal-Drangyari road was done by Army to ensure safe passage of convoy. A person was halted and asked to prove his identity by soldiers on duty in Marsari area. Instead of showing his identity papers the individual got into argument with the soldier. In this confusion the weapon got accidentally discharged which caused unfortunate fatal injuries to Abdul Rashid Mir of Rawatpora,” the statement said, adding, “An enquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident. Army regrets this unfortunate incident leading to death of Abdul Rashid.”

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