Gurez man’s death: ‘He was part of search operation, slipped into nallah’, say Police, Army

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A-52-year old man from a Gurez village in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district died after he was part of a search operation in a forest area in the wake of suspicious movement there on Thursday evening, security agencies said on Saturday.

The army and the police said during the search operation, the man slipped into a nallah, sustained injuries, was taken to army hospital where he succumbed.

Locals of the Tarbal area of Gurez, however, alleged that the man died due to torture inside an army camp.

A group of locals told news agency Kashmir News Observer that the man identified as Muhammad Abdullah Hajam son of Abdul Rahman Hajam a resident of Tarbal was allegedly called by the local army unit of (36RR) at Tarbal–the last village near LoC, about 20 kms from Gurez town.

The locals said that they came to know this morning about the death of the man inside the army camp. The deceased according to locals was the father of five children.

The locals further alleged that the network connectivity was suspended in the entire Bagtore area this morning following the incident.

A police spokesman in a statement said” Today army unit of 06 Maratha LI approached Police Post Izmarg Gurez, Bandipora and reported that one Abdullah Hajam age about 53-54 years resident of Tarbal was with them for a search operation during the intervening night of 30-31/7/21. While conducting a search in a dense forest area along with said person, suddenly he slipped into a deep nalla and got injured. He was shifted to Bn headquarters for treatment. However, despite all possible efforts the injured succumbed to his injuries before being shifted to another hospital.”

“On receipt of the said report, an inquest proceeding has been initiated into the incident to ascertain the facts & circumstances leading to this incident. The medico-legal formalities were completed at Sub District Hospital Gurez. Investigation in the matter is in progress,” the police spokesman added.

Defence Spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Emron Musavi in a statement said that Friday night, Abdullah Hazam saw some suspicious movement in the forest area ahead of Tharbal village. “He immediately informed the nearest army post about the suspicious activity. Army search party along with him went to search the area in the darkness,” he said, adding that “While the party was moving through a slushy patch, he unfortunately slipped into the nallah. The soldiers immediately rescued him and brought him to the nearest military doctor. The doctor immediately examined him and gave first aid. However, despite the best efforts of the doctor, Abdullah Hazam could not be saved and passed away due to his injuries at 8 am.”

The Defence spokesman said that Post mortem has been conducted and the body is being handed over to the family. “All possible assistance is being provided to the family of Abdullah Hajam,” he said.

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