Kashmir teacher dies in Indian Army custody, villagers say

A 30-year-old teacher died in the custody of the Indian Army after he was picked up during a search for militants in a Kashmir village, residents said Thursday.

Shabir Ahmed Moonga was the latest victim of a deadly bout of clashes between protesters and security forces in India-administered Kashmir over the past month and a half.

Most of the deaths were due to police action to disperse violent stone-pelting protesters who came out in Kashmir's towns and villages after security forces killed young militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8.

Moonga was among dozens who were injured during a late night raid Wednesday by army and police at Khrew village in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, locals said.

Villagers were beaten up and at least a dozen of them were taken away, a villager who did not want to be named said.

Later there was a phone call to Ahmed's family telling them to collect his body, the villager claimed.

The police said Moonga was killed in a pre-dawn clash between security forces and protesters in Khrew and his body was later handed over to his family, IANS news agency reported.

At least 60 people were injured in the alleged raid during which many of them were brutally beaten and 16 were still being treated in hospital for injuries, the villager said.

A dawn-to-dusk curfew which has been imposed in the valley for over 40 days was extended through the night in Srinagar, Pulwama district and some other areas.

Over 50,000 people - civilians, military, police and militants - have been killed since a violent, secessionist militant movement broke out in India-administered Kashmir in the 1980s.

India claims Pakistan supports and encourages the rebels, but Islamabad has consistently denied this charge and calls them freedom fighters.

There is a strong anti-India sentiment in the Kashmir Valley region which has increased over the years with a huge buildup of troops tasked with containing militancy.

Indian Army soldiers have often been accused of rights violations.

Last update: Thu, 18/08/2016 - 16:53
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