SRINAGAR: A 60-year-old man died of suspected cardiac arrest on Saturday night when government forces were conducting a search operation at Harmulla village of southern Kashmir’s Anantnag (Islamabad) district.
The deceased was identified as Abdul Gani Naikoo son of Ghulam Muhammad Naikoo.
The local residents alleged that the Army personnel raided his house at around 12 am and thrashed him before he ‘suffered heart attack’.
According to reports, locals shouldered his corpse towards Verinag area, however, police intercepted the procession.
Clashes broke out between protesting civilians and government forces at Kogund and Nowgam areas of the district. Reports said police fired tear smoke shells towards the protesters to disperse them.
Meanwhile, reports quoting a spokesperson of the Army, said that the man had fallen unconscious even before the forces entered his house.
The spokesperson said the Army had received information about presence of two armed rebels inside the village, following which Army and police launched a joint cordon and search operation in the area.
“During search operation, some noise was heard emanating from the house of Abdul Gani Naikoo. When the forces approached the house they found the above mentioned person unconscious,” the spokesperson was quoted as having said.
The person, according to the reports, passed away on way to hospital.
Meanwhile, independent legislator – Er Abdul Rasheed – said the Army tortured the man to death. “Why should not those army personnel be taken to task, who during darkness of the night entered the house of Abdul Gani Naikoo of Harmulla and killed him through torture,” Rashid said in a statement.
According to the legislator, the deceased was a worker of ruling Peoples Democratic Party. “Was it the reward given to him for being a PDP worker and let the unbiased Indians decide who is oppressor and who is the victim?” the legislator asked. (Inputs by KNS)