Soldier arrested for Kashmir teacher’s killing


Srinagar : Indian Army authorities Saturday arrested the soldier allegedly involved in Friday’s killing of a village teacher in Jammu and Kashmir’s border district of Kupwara even as angry villagers continued their protests.

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“Sepoy Muhammad Tariq was arrested by the army authorities today. He is in military custody for investigation. The inquiry will go into all aspects of the incident and the allegations levelled by the people,” a defence spokesman here said.

He said the army regrets this unfortunate incident leading to the death of Abdul Rashid Mir, a schoolteacher in Rawatpora village in north Kashmir.

The spokesman said that Rashid had been halted by a road opening party Friday and asked to prove his identity.

“Instead of showing his identity papers, the individual got into an argument with the soldier. In the confusion the weapon got accidentally discharged which caused unfortunate fatal injuries to Abdul Rashid Mir,” said the spokesman.

Thousands of people were protesting against the killing of Mir. Senior civil and police officers were at the spot trying to pacify the agitated villagers.

The protesters torched an army vehicle as well as a vehicle belonging to the local executive magistrate late Friday in Rawatpora.

Nearly 5,000 villagers camped overnight outside the village mosque in Rawatpora where they had kept the body of schoolteacher Abdul Rashid Mir.

Mir’s relatives and villagers refused to bury him unless the guilty were brought to book.

According to villagers, Mir used to escort his female colleagues through a dense forest in the village and had been warned by troops deployed in the forest not to do so.

“The soldiers had threatened him of dire consequences if he disobeyed their orders. They had also snatched his identity card on Thursday,” one of the protesters alleged.

People claim some soldiers were trying to bundle Mir’s body into a vehicle Friday when villagers spotted them and took the body away.