Kashmir unrest: Death toll rises to 66, school teacher ‘beaten’ to death

While his family alleges his body bore torture marks, police say he was killed in a pre-dawn clash between security forces and protesters in Khrew near Pampore

Srinagar : Curfew in place for the 41st Day and death toll rises to 66

As Jammu and Kashmir continues to live on the  edge, tension between civilians and security personnel shows no visible signs of receding. To the woes of the BJP- PDP government in the state, it is escalating. In the latest face-off, a 30-year-old teacher was allegedly beaten to death by security forces after a night raid on a Kashmir village, residents alleged on Thursday.

They said Shabir Ahmad Moonga was among dozens of people who were detained after a search operation by police and the Army in Khrew village of south Kashmir Pulwama districts.

Police, however, said Moonga was killed in a pre-dawn clash between security forces and protesters in Khrew, some 20 km from here, near the saffron town of Pampore.

The body was handed over to his family early Thursday.

Residents alleged that Moonga’s body bore torture marks and was apparently beaten to death after he was detained following nocturnal protests in the village.

However, the allegation could not be verified independently as officials at a hospital refused to comment. They said the autopsy report was still awaited.

The residents said at least 30 people were picked up by the security forces in the raid.

Authorities have imposed strict curfew in Khrew, Pampore and other adjacent areas to stop people from holding protests during Moonga’s funeral.

With the latest death, the toll has gone to 66 in the ongoing Kashmir unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of rebel commander Burhan Wani.

The authorities, meanwhile, continued curfew for the 41st day on Thursday in much of the Kashmir Valley. The curfew has been extended during night hours for the first time since the ongoing cycle of violence started.

The 48-day Amarnath Yatra that started on July 2 is concluding on Thursday.

This year, 2,20,339 pilgrims performed the Yatra despite the violence in Kashmir.