Teacher’s Death: Family Rebuts Police Claim of ‘Escape from Custody’


SRINAGAR — While Police have filed case for “custodial escape” and shifted probe into the “custodial death” of school principal Rizwan Ahmad Pandit to Pulwama district from the summer capital Srinagar, his family members rebutted police’s “theory” and demanded a judicial probe.       

“A team of police headed by a DSP picked him and when we visited them in the morning (on Monday) we were told that Rizwan has been arrested by NIA. The torture marks on his body speak that he has been subjected to severe torture so as to extract a confession from him,” Rizwan’s father, Asadullah Pandit, said. “He was innocent. What could he reveal when there was nothing,” he said, adding, “There were severe torture marks on his body and if the body is to be exhumed to see the torture marks, we are ready for it also. We want justice and there should be a judicial probe.”

Rizwan was picked up on Sunday night by the police from his Awantipora home and taken to the Cargo Srinagar interrogation centre, outlook reported. Later, his body bearing “severe torture marks” was handed over to his family on Tuesday evening.

The police Tuesday morning said the school principal was a militant suspect and had a militancy background. 

A senior official said that police maintained after requesting for a magisterial probe in Srinagar that the death occurred while they were on the way to Pulwama for searches when the principal, as claimed by the police, jumped from the vehicle and died. “That is why the probe has been shifted to Pulwama,” the official said as per outlook.

Mubashir Asad, younger brother of Rizwan, says injury marks were clearly visible all over his body. He says there was a major injury on the left side of the eye and cut marks and deep burn marks on his thighs at the front as well as back. “His tummy was swollen,” he said.

“Iron was used on his body. His left eye was completely bruised. He had stitches on the head,” Rizwan’s brother, Mubashir, told reporters.

“This is damn impossible for him to escape from the custody. How a person who has been brutally tortured can escape?” he asked.

 “The claim in this regard is insane. I don’t think those who have done this are humans.”

He said that Rizwan’s postmortem was carried without the family’s consent. “They did it apparently to fabricate it. The DSP Awantipora took my brother from the home during 11:30 on Sunday and he along with team is responsible for it.”

Some officials privy to the post-mortem, said that excessive bleeding from bruises had led to the death of Rizwan, the outlook also reported.

“The blood loss in soft tissues due to multiple injuries was extensive internally and must have led to irreversible shock in the case of Rizwan,” officials said. They said no evidence of heart attack was seen.

However, they said the internal blood loss must have blocked the vessels, resulting in kidney failure. “It seemed a ruler was rolled along his thighs after sufficient pressure, causing bursting of blood vessels and injuries to soft tissues,” they said. “He had cuts on bums and injuries all across his body, including hematoma in the left arm and eye,” they said.

Meanwhile, people in Awantipora staged a protest demonstration against the ‘custodial killing’ of the school principal.

The protesters included members of the Sikh community and they demanded ‘justice’  for Rizwan.

The protesters assembled outside the Rizwan’s ancestral house in Awantipora and carried a march, seeking justice for Rizwan.

Meanwhile, Kashmir traders’ body here staged a protest and demanded justice for Rizwan. They carried placards that reads custodial killing is unacceptable.  

Observer News Service

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