A 27-year-old, who was killed during protests near the Kakapora police chowki in Pulwama on Thursday, has been identified as Tauseef Ahmad Wani, a “serial stone pelter” who went by the name ‘Chotta Geelani’.
A resident of Tengpuna village in Pulwama, Wani had 10 FIRs registered against him at various police stations and had twice been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA). He was first arrested during the 2010 unrest, while he was allegedly leading protests against security forces in Pulwama. He was arrested again last year, during the protests following Hizb commander Burhan Wani’s death, booked under PSA and shifted to Kathua district jail in Jammu. He was only released two months ago.
Locals said Wani used to lead protests in Pulwama and its adjacent localities and alleged that police had marked him out as a target. Police, however, denied the allegation and said Wani was leading a protest near the Kakapora police chowki on Thursday, when he hit by a shell. “He was leading the stone pelters when and a shell hit him. It is not a case of target killing,’’ said a senior police officer.
Dr Shahnaz, who examined him at the Primary Health Centre in Kakapora, said, “He was hit by a shell from close range which led to blood loss.’’ Locals said Wani used to be present at the funeral of every militant or civilian killed in south Kashmir, especially in Pulwama district. “He used to drive an auto rickshaw and occasionally, worked as a JCB driver,” said Mohammad Sahid, his neighbour. Wani was buried at his native village in the afternoon, with residents organising two separate funerals for him.