“Police offered us ₹1 crore, job”: Family of youth killed in custody as probe delayed

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The family of the Sopore youth, who was killed in police custody in September 2020, has alleged that the police officials have “approached them a number of times with an apology and are offering us an amount of one crore plus job, to go easy on the matter,” reported a local news agency, KDC.

The elder brother of Irfan Dar, Javed Akber, alleged that the Senior Superintendent of Police and Sub Divisional Police Officer had reached out to the family as the submission of inquiry ordered by the district administration is delayed. Mr. Dar was found dead on 16 September after being picked up from his shop a day before. In a statement, the police had claimed that Mr. Dar was an Over Ground Worker and had escaped while being taken for recovery of arms.

Immediately after his body was found, the family had termed it a custodial killing, followed by widespread protests in the area forcing the authorities to order a probe into the death of the youth. The order was issued by DC Baramulla on 17 September 2020, appointing the ADC Baramulla as the inquiry officer into the incident advising him to submit the report within a stipulated time of twenty days.

Citing the reasons for the delay in submission of the report, the Inquiry Officer Additional Deputy Commissioner Baramulla, Mohammad Ahsaan, told the agency that his cook had tested positive for Covid-19, due to which he had gone for self-quarantine, which affected the inquiry process.

However, contrary to the version given by the officials regarding the delay in submitting the inquiry report, the family members told the agency that the delay in submitting the report is due to “tremendous pressure on the inquiry officer from police, to force us to accept compensation so that the matter gets hushed up”.

When the agency contacted DGP Dilbagh Singh for the story, he refused to talk and instead asked to talk to his juniors. Meanwhile, SSP Sopore Javed Iqbal, refuted the allegations of the family and termed those baseless.

So far, two police personnel have been suspended, who were escorting the youth when he, according to police, had fled and was later found dead in the Tujjar Sharief area. (KDC)

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