Protest against killing of Hindu by police in Kashmir
24 February 2007
Srinagar: Teargas was fired on Saturday to disperse thousands of angry villagers protesting after police allegedly battered to death a Hindu man, witnesses said. The protests erupted on the outskirts of Jammu. Villagers said Kewal Ram, a state government employee, had been battered by police during an argument on Friday evening. Doctors at Jammu's main hospital declared him “dead on arrival.” Several thousand villagers on Saturday blocked the main highway round Jammu and demanded a murder case be registered against police Police admitted using teargas and batons to scatter the villagers, who later re-assembled and continued their demonstrations. “Senior police and administration officials are trying to placate them,” a police spokesman said in Srinagar. “An assistant sub-inspector has been detained for questioning and a departmental inquiry has been ordered into the incident,” he said. Police, however, denied Ram was beaten up. The protest came two days after DNA tests carried out on the corpses of two men killed by security forces as Muslim militants showed they were innocent civilians. Investigations are under way in five cases where innocent civilians were allegedly detained, killed and passed off as militants.