Srinagar: On Thursday, hundreds of protesters shouting anti-India slogans after the body of a college student with his throat slit was found in the Indian-held Kashmir, Police fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse. The protesters accused the Indian army of torturing and killing the engineering student, Owais Bashir Malik. The army denied the allegation.
The protesters hurled rocks after the body was found Thursday near Malik’s home in Srinagar, the region’s main city, and police tried to clear them from a road leading to the airport. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, a Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both.
Since 1989, separatists have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence or merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown. The separatist groups have largely been suppressed by the Indian troops, and resistance is now principally expressed through street protests. Tanvir Ahmed, a relative of Malik, said he went missing two days ago.
“Last evening we went to a nearby army camp where officials admitted that he was with them and promised he would be released the next day,” Ahmed said. “This morning we saw his mutilated body.” Army spokesman Col. Nitin N. Joshi denied that Malik had been in the army’s custody. “The allegation is totally baseless. We don’t operate in the area at all,” he said.
Police Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said police are investigating the case as a possible murder.