Death of School principal in police custody fuels fresh anger in Kashmir | KNO

Police starts probe, DC directs ADM to conduct magisterial probe
Death of School principal in police custody fuels fresh anger in Kashmir | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, March 19 (KNO) : A 28-year-old school principal died in police custody in Srinagar on Monday, morning three days after he was arrested in connection with a militancy case investigation. According to KNO, the deceased was identified as Rizwan Pandit, was a resident of Awantipora in Pulwama district, the Jammu and Kashmir police said. A magisterial inquiry and a police investigation have been initiated into his death, police said. Rizwan, according to his brother, was a principal at a private school in Awantipora. Several parts of Srinagar and Awantipora observed a shutdown soon after news about Pandit’s death surfaced. Clashes between protestors and security personnel also took place in several parts of Srinagar. The local administration suspended internet services as a “temporary measure”. Police spokesman in a statement that Rizwan was detained in connection with a militancy case and he died in custody. Separate investigations have been started while as magisterial probe is also underway. District Magistrates Srinagar Shahid Iqbal said that they have started the proceedings into the case of custodial death of Awantipora teacher under the magisterial probe and that the inquiry will be conducted by the Additional Commissioner Srinagar, who has already visited the spot of incident. Talking to KNO Iqbal said that by evening they will issue a statement on the outcome of the magisterial probe taken up into the death of Rizwan Ahmed Pandit, 28, of Awantipora. “We will complete the probe soon and submit the report to the government,” Iqbal said. Earlier, police had said that Rizwan died in police custody after he was picked up by them in connection with a militancy related case. The death of Rizwan triggered a fresh storm in the Kashmir where peace is so fragile. Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti condemned the custodial death. “Midnight raids, crackdowns, rampant arrests, custodial murders and denial of democratic right to choose a government,” Abdullah tweeted. “Kashmir continues to suffer the fallout of the disastrous Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance and from the [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi government’s muscular approach to Jammu and Kashmir.” Mufti said the death was a result of the government’s repressive approach. “Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now,” Mufti tweeted. “The government of India’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.” Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also condemned the death. “Distraught at the brutal custodial killing of young Rizwan Ahmed of Awantipora,” Farooq tweeted. “The brutal killing once again exposes the helplessness, vulnerability and insecurity to the lives of Kashmiris as the impunity of the authorities keeps rising.”(KNO)