While Kashmiris paid homage on Saturday to the 22 people massacred by the Dogra monarchy troops on July 13, 1931, suspected militants beheaded a police constable in Kupwara district.
Inspector General of Police Abdul Gani Mir told The Hindu that head constable Sonaullah Zargar (48) of Harduna, Handwara, had ventured into the Hangalpora forest along with his wife and daughter on Saturday morning to collect firewood. A group of gunmen captured Mr. Zargar and questioned him about his profession. On learning that he was a police official posted in Srinagar, they kidnapped him. Reports said that Mr. Zargar’s wife and daughter were forced to leave the spot when they resisted the kidnapping and begged the gunmen to let off Mr. Zargar.
At around noon when the residents of Harduna were looking for Mr. Zargar, they spotted his decapitated body in the jungle. His torso and head were reportedly recovered from two different spots.
While the residents of Handwara area believe that this is the handiwork of the Pakistani cadres of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, said: “Initial reports available with the police suggest that it was a group of militants. But we are also looking into other theories as the militants have not beheaded anyone in the past few years in that area. We have registered an FIR and will start investigation.”
Meanwhile, Kashmir valley remembered the martyrs of July 13, 1931 with prayers, floral tributes and a separatist-sponsored shutdown.
Authorities imposed restrictions on the movements of civilians in Khanyar and Nowhatta in downtown Srinagar as Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, PDP leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and a dozen ministers paid floral tributes to the 22 martyrs at the Naqashband Sahab cemetery, amid tight security.