NIA denies arresting Kashmir teacher who died in police custody:The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday denied arresting Kashmiri youth who died in police custody in Srinagar. The probe agency in a statement said that the youth was neither called for questioning nor was he examined at any other location in connection with cases being investigated by NIA. The media reports had said that Rizwan Assad Pandit, a resident of south Kashmir’s Awantipora area was picked by the NIA a few days back and lodged in SOG camp of Cargo in Srinagar. He died in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday in the custody. The deceased, Pandit, was a teacher at a private school in Kashmir.
After the death of 28-year-old Pandit, Jammu and Kashmir Police said that in pursuance of a militancy case investigation, one suspect Rizwan Pandit, a resident of Awantipora died in police custody. Police have called for a magesterial enquiry.
The state’s political parties have condemned the death of Pandit. Reacting to the incident, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said that this is an unacceptable development. He demanded exemplary punishment to the killers of school teacher.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said that the innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. She said that the Central government’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms.
President All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party and parliamentarian Asaduddin Owaisi said that people of Kashmir deserve to live with dignity and without fear. Hyderabad MP said that he was pained to hear what Rizwan had to face in the custody.
Peoples Conference President Sajad Gani Lone said that this is what the sanctity of human life has been reduced to in Kashmir.
After the news of Pandit’s death spread, people of his native village protested and came on roads, ensuing clashes with security forces. A spontaneous shutdown was observed in Awantipora.
Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), which falls in Awantipora, postponed the semester examinations scheduled for today. The examination dates would be announced separately, reports said.
Meanwhile, Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik, called for a shutdown tomorrow against the custodial death of Awantipora youth.
Mirwaiz, who is also Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman, said that the brutal killing once again exposes the helplessness, vulnerability and insecurity to the lives of Kashmiri’s as impunity of the authorities keeps rising.