Kashmir: Man who attempted to self-immolate during demolition drive dies

The 27-year-old man who had allegedly set himself ablaze during a demolition drive against illegal constructions in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir on February 22, died of his injuries on Saturday, officials said.

They said that Amir Hamid Shah, a resident of Haran Ganderbal, was under treatment at Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical sciences, Soura, for his burn injuries which he sustained during the incident. “He succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS this morning,” said an official of Ganderbal police station.

Shah had climbed the slab of an under-construction complex of his family and set himself ablaze after sprinkling some combustible material over himself to stop demolition of the structure during a drive conducted by the irrigation and flood control department, along with tehsildar and police at Gundrahman, as some “illegal constructions” had come up around 100 metres of the Nallah Sindh water body.

As he was aflame and ran hither and thither over the slab trying to get rid of his clothes, people rushed to douse the flames.

Following the incident, divisional commissioner of Kashmir PK Pole ordered a time-bound inquiry into the incident to be conducted by Khurshid Ahmad Shah, additional district development commissioner, Ganderbal. He was asked to enquire into the whole episode and furnish his findings along with his definite comments/recommendations within a period of 10 days. It was not clear whether the inquiry has been completed or not, as the time period has lapsed. Calls to Shah did not elicit any response.

The order had also transferred tehsildar Ganderbal with immediate effect and his services kept at the disposal of the deputy commissioner of Bandipora “owing to mishandling the issue”.

Amir Shah’s self-immolation attempt had elicited very harsh reactions against administration so has his death.

“His fight against death comes to an end after 11 days. RIP Amir. The whole episode is terrific. There are a lot of ‘Why & how’s’ that the admin needs to answer. Sympathies with the family of the Ganderbal youth who self-immolated when I & FC dept came to demolish his structure,” said youth wing of People’s Conference in a tweet.

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