February 2007 News

Another body exhumed in Kashmir

2 February 2007
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: After the exhumation on Thursday of the body of a person allegedly killed in custody, the special investigation team on Friday exhumed another body at a different village near here. The body of Nazir Ahmad Deka was exhumed in Saloora village, 25 km from here, in the presence of his wife Tasleema. Hundreds of people staged a protest demonstration there against alleged custodial killings. Mr. Deka was allegedly killed in February 2006 in a fake encounter after he was picked up from the Lal Chowk area while selling itter (perfume). On Thursday, the body of Mr. Abdur Rehman Paddar, a carpenter from Larnoo village, was exhumed. Forensic experts took DNA samples from Mr. Deka's body and his one-year-old son to ascertain if the body was that of Mr. Deka. The body was later sent to his native village Desu in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district for burial. DIG Kashmir Range Farooq Ahmad, who is heading the investigating team, told The Hindu that Mr. Deka's family recognised the body from the belongings, particularly the sweater that he wore on the day he went missing. Further, a case of perfume was recovered. Mr. Deka was a vendor selling perfume when he was picked up on February 16, 2006. While Mr. Deka was later killed in the Ganderbal area, his family lodged a missing report in Kothibagh police station. 'The body was partially decomposed. It was buried along with a sweater,' the DIG said. The team was planning to open another grave in Srinagar where an imam (preacher), Nazir Ahmad from Banihal, was buried after allegedly being killed in a fake encounter, but protests in Ganderbal delayed the process. 'Now the next exhumation will take place after 10 days and the team will work on investigation,' Mr. Farooq said.


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