There was widespread anger in Sopore against the killing of a young man in police custody. Nazim Rashid, 28, died in a police camp in Sopore on Saturday, hours after the police picked him up, to question him about his alleged role in the killing of a civilian.
The police have registered a case of murder and a magisterial inquiry has been ordered. Thousands of troops were deployed with a curfew-like situation in the town.
But none of it could stop the clashes in Krankshan Colony - where Nazim Rashid's parents live - after police initially refused to hand over Rashid's body saying, they were waiting to carry out the post-mortem. The body has subsequently been handed over to the family.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah declared the death as both ''inexcusable,'' a ''human rights violation'' and has sought a probe into the matter. Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister of State, Home, in Jammu and Kashmir, says, ''A case has been registered under 302 RPC. The in-charge of the police component there and two police personnel under whose custody he (Rashid) was kept have been suspended."
Rashid's death has become a political issue when the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti insisted on visiting Sopore.High drama followed when the police prevented her by locking the main gate of her official residence.
"After the recent killing of three people in Anantnag, the Chief Minister is on record to have said that it was cold blooded murder and the culprits will be punished. You know and I know, no one was punished," Ms Mufti said.
The killing of Nazim Rashid has shattered the fragile peace in Sopore, with the opposition and separatist groups pointing accusatory fingers at the government. It remains to be seen what steps the government can take to restore the peace.