In-depth: Protests in Kashmir’s Handwor, vehicles torched amid clashes

A mourner at the funeral of Shahid being consoled on Thursday. Picture: Abu Bark

Protests raged in Handwor areas of north Kashmir’s Kupwor district against the killing of a youth two days ago in Hafruda forests during which protesters clashed with forces, damaged and set ablaze official vehicle.

People hit streets at Tarathpora against the killing of Shahid Bashir Mir, 23. The people kept the body in the main chowk and were demanding registering of murder case against the army. To pacify the protesters, DC Kupwor Khalid Jehangir rushed to the spot and tried to calm the tempers.

He also requested mourners to bury the slain and assured of action. However locals were demanding probe into the killing . Amid standoff, the angry mourners attacked the official vehicles and also set two of them on fire. They pelted stones on cops after which situation deteriorated in the area.

Amid a complete shutdown and tense situation, the funeral of slain youth was offered later by thousands of people amid pro-azadi slogans. He was laid to rest amid sobs and tears. Reports of protests and clashes were received from Daril, Tarathpora and adjoining areas but other parts of the Kupwara district including Handwara were normal.

DC Kupwara, Khalid Jehangir told reporters that a magisterial enquiry has been ordered into the incident. Meanwhile, a case under FIR number 81/ 2017 under section 307 RPC stands registered with regard to Hafruda encounter while another case under FIR number 82/2017 under section 436, 364, 147, 148 and 16 unlawful activities has been registered with regard to today’s violence and in Tarathpora.

In view of the apprehensions of the protests, all the colleges and senior secondary schools remained closed for class work in Baramulla and Handwor areas of the north Kashmir. No report of protest was received from any other educational institute against the killing.