‘Custodial death’ sparks protest in J&K
19 January 2001
The Hindustan Times
Jammu: MASSIVE PROTESTS rocked Srinagar today over the 'custodial death' of a driver of the forest department whose jeep, stolen by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba militants, was used to launch a suicide attack at Srinagar airport on Tuesday. Driver Bilal was taken into custody on Wednesday for interrogation by the state police. His body was found in Ganderbal yesterday, raising suspicions about the circumstances in which his death had taken place. The police claimed that Bilal was killed when he tried to run away while taking a police party to militant hideout. However, the family members of the driver had contested the police version and alleged that he was tortured to death. Several thousand people joined the protests against what they alleged the 'custodial death'. The staff of the forest department and the State Forest Corporation took out huge processions to register their protest. They also raised slogans against the state government. Meanwhile, one person was killed and 12 others wounded in a grenade attack on a mobile bunker of the Border Security Force (BSF) at Lal Chowk. The grenade exploded in the middle of the road killing one civilian and wounding 12 others. Two of the injured were policemen.