First Casualty in Kashmir After Article 370 Abrogation

News Frontliner Web Desk, 27 August 2019: Noorduddin Dar has become the first casualty of the current turbulence triggered by withdrawal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August. The 42-year-old truck driver was fatally hit, when his truck was hit by showers of stones at Zradipora in Uranhall locality of Bijbehara area in Anantnag.

Dar, who had been driving a local advocate Haroon’s truck since 2011 was rushed to a nearby district hospital, from where he was referred to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences at Soura in the outskirts of Srinagar where he was declared brought dead. Police said that two youths have been arrested in the early hours of Monday and six others have been detained for questioning in connection with the incident.

Sub Divisional Police Officer Bijbehara, Parvez Ahmad said, “All the eight we have detained are still under interrogation. However, it has been established with evidence that Minhar and Athar, who are 18-19 years old and students of class 12 at a local school, were engaged in the stone pelting. They threw a stone straight on the ill-fated driver’s head from the front side. He was rushed to SKIMS where he died. We have booked the culprits in FIR No 115/2019 under Section 302.”

The arrested youths were being questioned to ascertain their motive behind the crime, police said, adding that the duo had no past criminal history.

It is alleged that the miscreants mistook his truck for a security force vehicle and hurled stones at it, police said, adding a stone hit the windscreen and injured Dar in the head.

A few days ago, a girl was seriously injured in a stone-pelting incident in downtown city of Srinagar.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, Altaf Khan and SDPO Bijbehara Parvez Ahmad claimed that not a single incident of stone pelting, clash with the police or the security forces, attack on any vehicles or public property had occurred anywhere in Anantnag district between 5 to 25 August. They said that the police or the security forces in Anantnag district haven’t fired a single pellet, bullet or tear-gas canister during the last 20 days of the turmoil in the Valley.

Downtown Srinagar has been under curfew since 5 August, even as restrictions have been relaxed in the uptown and other parts of the Valley, where several private vehicles can be seen plying on the roads. However, most of the shops and business establishments remain shut and commercial transport is still off-road. Notwithstanding the absence of any call or statement from the separatists, almost the entire Valley is holding a shutdown. Contrary to the claims of government officials, none of the educational institutions in the Valley have been reopened.

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