Srinagar: Amid protests in Kashmir, the army admitted today that a 32-year-old school teacher was beaten to death by its soldiers during overnight raids at a village and called it "absolutely unjustified and unacceptable".
- Army says teacher beaten to death during raid that were not sanctioned
- Death sparks fresh protests in Kashmir, army appeals for calm
- 66 dead, 5,000 injured in clashes since killing of terrorist Burhan Wani
Shabir Ahmad Mangoo, who taught at a government school, was killed when he and several others were thrashed on Wednesday night at Khrew, 40 km from Srinagar.
His family alleges that the army searched house to house for protesters and beat Shabir mercilessly.
The death has led to fresh protests in Kashmir, which has seen clashes in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani on July 8.
"These raids are not sanctioned at any level. Let me tell you what happened when one person was killed in the beating by army persons. It's unjustified. Nobody can support this. And there's absolutely no sanction for these actions," Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda said on Friday.
The army has ordered an investigation and appealed for calm.
Asked if his appeal was addressed to the separatists, Lt Gen Hooda said, "Everyone needs to step back. Where are the protest calendars coming from?"
Shabir's relative said the soldiers "started thrashing us, broke glasses and vandalised our homes. They barged into our homes, dragged young men out and beat and tortured them."
The police say 50 people suffered serious injuries in the beatings. Locals allege that many houses were damaged.
A murder complaint has been filed by the police against the army battalion accused of the raids.
The raids came after protests and stone pelting in the same village days ago. "There is anger on both sides, all of us need to sit together and deescalate" said Gen Lt General Hooda.
While appealing for peace, the army also said it will resume counter-insurgency operations, which were affected by over 40 days of unrest.