Police, magisterial probes ordered
A teacher from south Kashmir's Pulwama district was killed in Police custody in Srinagar on Tuesday, triggering outrage.
Administration has ordered magisterial probe while Police is conducting investigation to probe the killing while the family of the deceased said he was “innocent and killed in a cold-blood”.
Rizwan Asad Pandit, 29, son of Mohammad Asadullah Pandit of Awantipora died in police custody during intervening night of March 18 and 19 in Srinagar.
“In pursuance of militancy case investigation, one suspect Rizwan was in police custody. He died in police custody. In this matter while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of CrPC a magisterial enquiry is underway,” a police spokesman said.
He said a police investigation has been initiated in the jurisdictional area of incident.
Pandit, who worked as a Principal in a private school at Jawbara area of Awantipora, was detained by police on Sunday in connection with an investigation of militancy case.
Although police didn’t reveal the circumstances of the incident and the particular case he was detained in.
A top government official told Rising Kashmir that magisterial inquiry has been ordered in the incident and Additional District Magistrate Pulwama would be heading the probe.
“A formal notification with regard to magisterial inquiry will be publicised. The magisterial inquiry will go into the depth of case and investigate all details mentioned in the police docket,” he said.
Another official said since the case involves jurisdiction of two districts, Srinagar and Pulwama, the magisterial inquiry involves coordination between district magistrates of both the districts.
The post-mortem of Rizwan’s body was conducted by doctors at SHMS hospital in Srinagar.
Rizwan’s custodial death happened days after US Department of State released a human rights report 2018, mentioning that “Government officials reportedly often fail to comply with a Supreme Court order instructing the Government of India (GoI) and local authorities to conduct regular checks on police stations to monitor custodial violence.”
Thousands of people thronged the residence of deceased youth in his native village in Awantipora.
Rizwan was well qualified, having pursued Masters in Chemistry from Central University, Dehradun and later he had done B.Ed.
He worked as a principal at a private school in Jawbara area of Awantipora, the family said.
He also worked as guest lecturer at polytechnic college IUST Awantipora before he was detained under PSA.
Reports said Rizwan came on the radar of forces after the attack on CRPF Training Centre in Lehthpora on December 31, 2017 in which five CRPF personnel were killed. Three militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad were also killed in gunfight that had lasted for 36 hours.
However, Rizwan’s family denied his involvement in any militant case, saying “he was framed under fabricated charges and killed in cold blood.”
A spontaneous shutdown was observed in Awantipora town while clashes erupted between youth and forces in the area.
Youth hit streets and pelted stones on forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells and pellets.
At least three youth were injured after hit by pellets.
The spontaneous shutdown was also observed in parts of Srinagar.
Meanwhile, authorities suspended internet service on mobile phones as a “precautionary measure” to prevent spiralling of tensions.
Authorities had also suspended class work in Islamic University of Science and Technology and others schools in Awantipora to prevent students from staging protests.