Protest over death in custody shuts Indian Kashmir

Nazim Rashid, a shopkeeper, was declared dead early Sunday, with no reason provided as to the cause.

Afp August 03, 2011

SRINAGAR: A one-day general strike called in Indian Kashmir by separatists to protest the death of a shopkeeper in police custody Wednesday closed down shops, schools and offices.

"The strike is to protest this gross human rights violation," said chief organiser Syed Ali Geelani in a statement.

The strike was widely followed in the main city of Srinagar and other towns, including Sopore where the weekend incident happened, police sources and residents said.

Nazim Rashid, a shopkeeper, was detained by counter-insurgency police on Saturday in the northern town of Sopore. He was declared dead early Sunday, with no reason provided as to the cause.

Police said Monday they had registered a murder case and suspended three officers following the death of the 28-year-old man.

But Geelani insisted there should be an impartial enquiry by a UN body or international human rights groups.

Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah promised "swift and exemplary action" in a Twitter post on Sunday.

Rashid's family has also called for an independent probe, even as the Sopore police chief was transferred late Tuesday to ensure a "free and fair probe".

Last year more than 110 people were killed when police and security forces opened fire during a series of demonstrations triggered by the death of a 17-year-old youth who was hit by a police teargas shell.

Last week there were protests against the alleged rape of a woman by soldiers.

Facebook Conversations