Mainstream leaders, separatists condemns custodial death, demands action

SRINAGAR, MAR 18 2019

All mainstream Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir and separatist leaders has strongly reacted over the killing of a youth in police custody, who was detained by the Jammu and Kashmir police from Awantipora.

Former chief minister and National Conference Vice President, Omar Abdullah said the custodial death of a youth from south Kashmir’s Pulwama district was unacceptable and must be investigated in transparent and time bound manner.

“I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” Omar tweeted.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said under the present administration, innocent men are hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now.

She further said “GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough.”

In a tweet PDP president Mehbooba said, “Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough.

Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq termed the killing of a teacher in police custody once again exposes the vulnerability of Kashmiris.

In a tweet Mirwaiz said, “Distraught at the brutal custodial killing of young Rizwan Ahmed of Awantipora. The brutal killing once again exposes the, helplessness, vulnerability and insecurity to the lives of Kashmiri’s as impunity of the authorities keeps rising.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone condemned the custodial death of youth in Srinagar.

“Condemn in strongest terms the death in police custody in Srinagar. This is what the sanctity of human life has been reduced to in Kashmir. My thoughts are with the family of the deceased”, he said in a statement.

“Disturbing reports of custodial death of youth from Awantipora in Srinagar’s Cargo Camp. As per media he was picked up by police few days ago & was lodged in CARGO camp of (SOG). @jandkgovernor administration should come clean on this @HMOIndia @MehboobaMufti,” tweeted Nayeem Akhtar of People’s Democratic Party.

Former finance minister Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari demanded a time bound probe into the extra judicial killing of Awantipora resident who according to reports was arrested by police and died in custody at Srinagar.

“It is highly unfortunate that a young man, teacher by profession, has lost his life in police custody and it needs to be thoroughly investigated to know what went wrong and who are responsible for his death in custody,” Bukhari demanded.

He said, at a time when the police had to learn to behave responsibly and sensitively such sad incidents only add to the prevailing mistrust among the people with the system which nobody in a civilized society can afford. Bukhari said that authorities especially the Honb’le courts and the National Human Rights Commission have already set out detailed procedures to prevent and punish police use of torture and ill-treatment.

“However, such incidents of torture wherein suspects are punished to gather information is totally unacceptable in light of the laid down rules by the Supreme Court.”

CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said no civilized society can tolerate such acts.

The custodial death of Rizwan Pandit must be investigated in a transparent and time bound manner and government must order a judicial enquiry into the incident immediately. Custodial killing isn’t acceptable to any human being and whosoever is involved Pandit’s killing must be given exemplary punishment. Custodial killing is a brutality and brutalities are unacceptable in whatever form they are.

Rizwan Asad died in police custody at Srinagar during the intervening night of March 18 and 19. A top police officer confirmed this death, saying that the matter is being investigated and the cops who were interrogating him are being questioned.

Reports said the victim, who was working as a teacher at a private school, died at Cargo camp of J&K Police’s Special Operations Group. According to some reports, he was being questioned by the National Investigation Agency.

“A magisterial inquiry under 176 CrPc has been initiated to ascertain the cause of death after which any action can be taken,” the officer, who is not authorised to speak with the media, said. The J&K police has also ordered a separate inquiry to probe the youth’s death.

Tensions are rising in Kashmir in the aftermath of the youth’s ‘killing’ with authorities suspending work at Islamic University in Awantipora to prevent and law and order problems. Rumours abound, in the absence of a proper official account.

According to various reports, the Inspector General of Police has requested for a magisterial probe into the incident.

Pertinently, before the news about Rizwan’s killing broke, authorities at Islamic University of Science and Technology postponed the semester examinations. (PTK)