Kupwara: A day after the half-charred, mutilated body of a child who lived in Gulgam village of Kupwara district was found in a nearby village, a complete shutdown was observed on Saturday in Gulgam and adjoining Batargam area, while a large number of people reached the home of the boy to express sympathies with the bereaved family. Most shops in Kralpora and other areas of Kupwara district also remained closed in protest against the gruesome killing.
People held street protests in Gulgam and hailed the child as a “martyr”, calling his killing inhuman and un-Islamic. They also shouted slogans against the government for failing to ensure safety of children.
The authorities had deployed police force in several areas of the district to maintain law and order. The Government Degree College Kupwara remained closed for the second consecutive day on orders of the district administration.
When contacted, Kupwara Deputy Commissioner (DC) Khalid Jahangir said that he was in a meeting and could not talk. The phone of SSP Kupwara AS Dinkar was out of reach. Sources said that the special investigation team (SIT) formed by the district administration was trying to identify the culprits and had called several people for questioning.
The slain child, Umer Farooq Malik, son of Farooq Ahmad Malik, went missing on Monday afternoon and his body, with severe burn injuries and an arm cut off, was found in Gushi village, some three kilometres from his home, on Thursday evening. Umer was the lone brother of seven sisters. His father works as a labourer while his mother, Sharifa, is a peon in the same school where Umer was studying in Class 3.