The police in Pulwama, in south Kashmir, have started investigating a “suspicious death” after a 15-year-old boy allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison.
Yawar Ahmad Bhat, from Chandgam in Pulwama, died at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital on Thursday — his medical records at Pulwama hospital mention an “alleged” case of “rat poison”.
On Saturday, the teen’s family members alleged that he took his own life apprehending torture at an Army camp after soldiers took away his identity card on Tuesday, allegedly beat him and asked him to report at a local Army camp the following day.
Calling the allegations “baseless”, an Army officer in Srinagar said, “He (Yawar) was not called by the Army. Nothing of this sort has happened.”
Pulwama SSP Chandan Kohli told The Sunday Express that it is a “suspicious death” and the boy consumed poison. “We have started inquest proceedings,” he said. About the family’s allegation, Kohli said, “Yes, I have asked the Army. They denied it.”
Pulwama DC Syed Abid refused to comment on the issue.
According to family members, Yawar allegedly consumed poison on the night of September 17 — the same day, he told his sister that he was allegedly detained and beaten up by some soldiers from the local Army camp. Yawar, she said, also told her that the Armymen took his identity card and asked him to report at the camp the following day.
His father Abdul Hamid said Yawar seemed upset that night. “He usually slept in my room but that night he slept in another room. My wife said he was frequently opening the window and vomiting.we took him to the district hospital (the same night),” he said.
“Armymen had taken the identity card and there was fear that he had to visit the army camp tomorrow. He feared he would be tortured there,” Yawar’s uncle Gulzar Ahmad said. “He consumed poison due to that fear.”
Local residents said there was a grenade attack in a nearby area on the night of September 16 and the next day Army personnel allegedly took away identity cards of several local youths and asked them to report at the Army camp.
A doctor at the local hospital said, “Family members said he had consumed either pesticides or rat poison. He was referred to Srinagar hospital after a stomach wash here,” he said.