Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Father of 8 killed in Kupwara

Kupwara, Jan 12: Located in the lap of snow covered Sonapindi mountains, this sleepy hamlet resounds with wails from the muddy house of 40-year-old Latief Ahmad Malik, killed by unidentified gunmen during the preceding night near his house.Malik is survived by six daughters, two minor sons and wife. He was buried in the local graveyard amid protests against the killers. Fear was writ on the faces of villagers as they were not able to speak openly. Malik had gone to Kupwara market and didn’t return till late evening. “Around 10 pm yesterday, a vehicle stopped on road some 10 yards from our house,” said Ghulam-ud-din Malik a local while pointing towards the road. “We heard somebody shouting in Urdu/Hindi in the vehicle and within seconds something exploded. I ran towards the spot to find a white Sumo with black glass panes leaving the spot. On reaching the spot we found Latief dead, lying in a pool of blood.” “We could see blood oozing out of his body. One live grenade, a helmet and the broken glass panes of the Sumo were scattered around,” he added.
Latief’s wife Husseena Jan said: “My husband had joined militancy in nineties and later surrendered before the security forces.” “Since his surrender he didn’t have any affiliation with anyone. He was working as a labourer and feeding his family,” she added. She was seconded by her neighbours. “Latief was courteous, brave and earning for his family. We don’t see any reason for his killing,” they said. But the locals were fear-stricken. “It seems the killing was planned,” said one of them. Haseena had something more to add. “He was being asked by personnel of some intelligence agencies to attend the Thayan camp. I don’t know why he was being called there off and on,” she said. The locals said: “We are unable to understand how this vehicle reached here even though there are so many army camps in between.”“If militants killed Malik they would not use the vehicle but would run into the nearby forest. This is the handy work of some agencies,” they added.
The locals today held massive protests in the area demanding the killers be punished.They alleged Malik was killed by some security agency and not by the militants.“Punish the killers. Latief was killed by agencies,” they shouted while marching through the Kalaroos forests. Later the SSP Kupwara along with other officers of the district administration rushed to the spot and pacified the protestors saying the killing would be thoroughly probed.“It seems to be a very complex case. We have recovered cartridges, a helmet, and broken window pane of a vehicle from the spot and it seems he has been killed in a grenade explosion,” said a police official requesting not to be named. SSP Kupwara Uttam Chand told Greater Kashmir: “We have registered a case under section 302 against unidentified assailants, and started investigations.”

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