The army on Thursday evening claimed to have killed a militant in an encounter in South Kashmir’s Dooru village. However, J&K Pradesh Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir claimed the man was a prominent Congress worker and was killed in custody. Mir called it a politically motivated custodial killing and demanded a judicial inquiry. He identified the man as Malik Sajjad, 37, a former sarpanch of village Batagund.
An Army spokesman refused to divulge details. “As of now we can only say that the slain person was killed in an encounter.”
Mir alleged that Malik was arrested more than a month ago on charges of organising stone pelting in the area. “His family had arranged for bail, but the police didn’t release him and asked them to get clearance from a local PDP MLA. I also called the police officers and demanded his release as he had not committed any crime and was a good worker.” Mir said he was informed by Malik’s family that a policeman took him out of the police station on a motorcycle, saying he would drop him home. “He (Malik) was dropped at Agnoo village near Batagund where the Army was waiting for him and he was killed in a fake encounter,” Mir alleged.
Mir, who is from the same area as Malik, said he was punished because he was a prominent Congress worker. “Now the police and Army have fabricated a false story that he had tried to snatch the weapon of a policeman. Along with my workers I am going to Dooru on Friday to protest against the murder,” he said. Malik Sajjad was a former militant of Hizbul Mujahideen and joined mainstream politics in 2005.