June 2016 News

Sheikh Buried Amid Protests, Questions Remain

15 June 2016
India Today
Naseer Ganai

Srinagar: Amid massive deployment of police and paramilitary forces, hundreds of people on Wednesday attended the funeral prayers of 31-year-old Tanvir Sultan Sheikh here. Sheikh, according to the government, was a militant, who was killed in a gunfight with security forces on Monday in Udhampur, Jammu. However, the family claims he was a civilian, traveling to Amritsar for treatment and was killed in a fake encounter. His body was handed over to the family on Wednesday morning. On Tuesday government informed Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, after the opposition National Conference described Sheikh's killing as fake encounter, that Sheikh was killed after he opened fire on police and security forces wounding three persons. Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Minister for Agriculture said on Monday at about 4.30 pm Police Station Kud Jammu received information that a State Road Transport Corporation Bus on its way from Srinagar to Jammu was stopped for checking by police and CRPF at Karnal Nallah Kud. 'All the passengers were asked to alight from the bus for thorough checking and frisking upon which a person who was also travelling in the same bus started firing at the CRPF and police', the Minister said. He said in the firing three persons sustained bullet wounds. Of three, Mamta Devi, 45, Jammu succumbed to her injuries. He said in retaliatory firing of the security the militant was killed. He was later identified as Tanveer Sultan, 31, of Ibrahim Colony Bemina, Srinagar. 'One AK-47 and one pistol were recovered from him', the Minister said. Jammu and Kashmir Police said the AK-47 recovered from him was the same snatched by a militant after killing a cop at Tengpora on May 23. However, Sheikh Arshid Sultan, elder brother of Tanvir, describes the case as cold blooded murder and has raised several questions. He says Tanvir was psychiatric patient for past 19 years. 'He developed first episode of the bipolar disorder in 1997 when he left his home in cold December night without having anything on. And since then the episodes of the disorder were recurring. He would get angry on slightest thing and it would take us hours to calm him down. In recent months he had shown signs of improvement and had curtailed medication on the advice of his doctor', Arshad, who is a banker, said. He said his brother had left his engineering education half way after he developed illness in 1997. He said in the past he was admitted to Psychiatric Disease Hospital in Srinagar. He said Tanvir was on the way to Amritsar to get treatment for his fractured shoulder. 'It was the second time he was going for the treatment. He had withdrawn Rs 60,000 from the ATM and had taken clothes and documents like identity card, Adhaar card and prescriptions along.' He said during his long years of illness he was working as medical representative and doing other odd jobs. 'He was either a civilian or a militant. We believe he was civilian, who may have been killed in cold blood after some argument with the police or CRPF as he was short tempered. That is my perception. If he was militant let the police prove it', he asked.