Srinagar: Curfew like restrictions were imposed Thursday in Hajin town of Bandipora district after the death of an Ikhwani-turned-sarpanch triggered violent group clashes that saw property worth lakhs of rupees damaged by frenzied mobs.
The situation took an ugly turn this morning when news spread that the former Ikhwani and National Conference sarpanch Abdur Rashid Wagay alias Rashid Kabli, who was attacked and seriously injured Wednesday by Shakeel Ahmad Khan, a gas dealer, following an altercation, has succumbed to injuries at the SK Institute of Medical Sciences.
Angry relatives of Kabli appeared at Main Town and went on a rampage, torching Khan’s shop and motorbike.
“The police used batons and fired teargas canisters to disperse the mob. The mob also ransacked an electronics shop and damaged refrigerators, TVs and other goods worth lakhs of rupees before cops chased them away,” said Mudasir Ahmad, a witness.
The violence prompted the traders to down their shutters and run towards safer places. The violence also disrupted the traffic. As the situation was slipping out of control, the police imposed restrictions and prevented the people from venturing out of their houses. CRPF reinforcements were rushed to the area to assist the police in maintaining law and order.
Kabli was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Kathpora. Hundreds of people participated in his funeral prayers led by a son of senior National Conference leader and higher education minister Mohammad Akbar Lone.
Late Thursday evening, witnesses said, Kabli’s relatives tried to torch the house of the gas dealer. However, the police and CRPF personnel scuttled their attempt.
“Cops fired warning shots after batons proved ineffective to quell the mob. The situation is tense,” Mudasir said.
A father of three, Kabli was once a close associate of Muhammad Yousuf alias Kuka Parray, a notorious counterinsurgent. However, Kabli had parted ways with Parray two years before the latter’s assassination in an audacious attack by militants in 2003.
In 2011, Kabli became a sarpanch after fighting Panchayat elections on NC ticket.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman in a handout issued here this evening said the four accused— Shakeel Ahmad Khan and Mushtaq Ahmad Khan, sons of Mohammad Shafi Khan; and Showkat Ahmad Parray and his brother Firdous Ahmad Parray, sons of Ghulam Ahmad Parray—have been arrested and booked on charges of murder.