Jammu & Kashmir Police claim to have solved the murder of a 21-year old youth in Srinagar that had led to protests. Owais Bashir Malik was an engineering student and had gone missing since January 12th. His body was found near Railway Bridge Humhama two days later.
At a press conference, police revealed that Owais had come in contact with a girl’s profile Umaira over Facebook, and was in a relationship for close to a year. The two would talk for hours over phone, and their family too was aware of the relationship. A report in The Indian Express further says that “whenever Owais’s phone was switched off or if he didn’t pick up the phone, Umaira would call her (Owais’s sister) and plead with her to pass the phone to Owais.”
However, the profile had been created by one of his childhood friends named Ishaan. The two had studied together till class V. Upon Owais’s strong insistence, the two finally decided to meet. When Owais got to know that it was Ishaan with whom he had talked all along, he got angry and the two had a scuffle. “They had a scuffle and Owais fell down and was hit on the head. Ishaan told us he kicked Owais but once he saw he wasn’t moving, he got scared and fled. He destroyed two of his SIM cards and went to his aunt’s home in Bandipore. He also deleted Umaira’s Facebook page,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police Ghulam Hassan Mir.
“He told us he loved Owais and wanted to be close to him. He has been crying, saying that he didn’t want to kill Owais, that he committed a mistake,” Fayaz Ahmad Lone, SSP, Budgam, told Indian Express. Three Railway Police Personnel too have been booked in the case for not informing the police on finding the body and instead dragging it and throwing it away from the tracks.
The body has been sent for autopsy and the forensic report is awaited. Meanwhile, Mallik’s family has demanded a thorough investigation and said one person could not have killed him alone. “His body bore severe injury marks and that has created doubts in our mind. That is why we want a thorough investigation in the case,” Abdul Rashid Beg, an uncle of Owais, told PTI.