Body of carpenter killed in "encounter" exhumed

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The body of Abdur Rahman Paddar being exhumed from his grave at Sumbal, near Srinagar, on Thursday.
The body of Abdur Rahman Paddar being exhumed from his grave at Sumbal, near Srinagar, on Thursday.

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: A day after Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad ordered a judicial probe into "custodial killings," a team of forensic experts on Thursday exhumed the body of Abdur Rehman Paddar, the carpenter who was killed allegedly in a fake encounter in December 2006.

A two-member team from the Forensic Laboratory, Chandigarh accompanied by six members from the Government Medical College visited the burial place in Sumbal, 30 km from here.

Grave opened

The grave was opened in the presence of a magistrate, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir range, Farooq Ahmad and other senior officers besides members of Paddar's family. The team members took samples for DNA tests. They will be matched with those of Paddar's father. However, his father who was present identified the body as that of his son and later took it to his village in Kokernag area of South Kashmir.

SSP, DSP held

Even as investigations being conducted by Mr. Ahmad are underway, three policemen have been arrested, along with an SSP and DSP, attached to the police headquarters.

The police had a tough time keeping out hundreds of protesters in Sumbal as they marched, shouting slogans against the guilty and demanding action. Police cordoned off the area and fired teargas shells to disperse the mob.

A general strike was observed in the town as shops and businesses were closed and transport was off the road. Police and para-military personnel were deployed in strength in the area.

Earlier on Wednesday evening, Mr. Azad announced that a retired or sitting High Court judge would probe the killing. However, he said, "The police investigation will go on."



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