- Protests erupt in his native village; funeral today
Srinagar/Anantnag: Zahid Ahmad Bhat, one of the two truckers who had been beaten up and then set afire by a Hindu mob in Udhampur on October 9, succumbed to his injuries at New Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday morning.
Zahid, a resident of Botengoo, Anantnag, had suffered 60% burns, while his colleague Showkat Ahmad Dar of Uranhal suffered 30% burn injuries in the attack. Their third colleague, Rameez Ahmad, had escaped unhurt after jumping out of the truck and hiding himself in a nearby area.
According to sources, Zahid’s condition started deteriorating from last evening and he breathed his last on Sunday morning.
His death triggered protests in his native village. The protesters assembled on Srinagar-Jammu highway and shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans after blocking the road with wooden logs and burning tyres.
And when the police and paramilitary forces did not allow the protests, the mourners pelted them with stones.
The forces fired teargas canisters and empty rounds in air to disperse the protestors, eyewitness said
Although the forces managed to restore traffic on the highway for an hour after chasing away the protesters, the protests and clashes spread to interiors of the village.
Local residents told Kashmir Reader that after failing to chase away the protesters, the forces smashed window panes of houses in the village.
Before the arrival of Zahid’s body, the authorities withdrew police and paramilitary troopers from the area in view of the swelling protesters.
After their withdrawal, the protesters returned to the highway and blocked the same.