It is a ‘cold blooded murder’ says family of slain Awantipora youth

Rizwan Assad Pandit.

Srinagar: The family of  28 year old Awantipora youth, has termed his death in police custody as a “cold blooded murder”.

“My brother was booked under false charges and then arrested. He was not affiliated with any militant group. It was a cold blooded murder in police custody,” Rizwan’s brother, Zulkarnain Assad can be seen saying in a video that has gone viral on social media.

Assad  said that two days ago their house was cordoned off by police officials including the deputy superintendent of police from a local police station.

“They took out all of our family members including women folk and then locked them up in one room ,” he lamented.

“Later, they caught hold of Rizwan and took him away along with them”.

On the next day, the family member said they visited the local police station, Awantipora, to ascertain details  of Rizwan’s detention.

“The police told us not to communicate the arrest of our brother to anyone.” Zulkarnain said.

“Then they told us that he was with the Cargo component of police in Srinagar. They said they can’t be helpful (with respect to his release).”

Zulkarnain whose eyes were moist while narrating the details said it was on Tuesday morning that they came to know that he was “killed” in police custody in Cargo component of Special Operations Group of police, Srinagar.

“He was in custody of police and was killed during interrogation,” Zulkarnain said.

“It is a cold blooded murder”.

Adding  that Rizwan was arrested under Public Safety Act (PSA) in September 2018 and that his  PSA was quashed on November 30, 2018.

“Rzwan was lodged in Kathua jail. When his PSA was quashed he was kept illegally in the local police station,” Zulkarnain alleged.

He alleged  that despite bail orders from Pulwama court, Rizwan was in police lock-up.

“They kept him in custody for 15-20 days. And later, let him go,” Zulkarnain said.

Adding that from the last  two and half months, he had started his life afresh. As he was running his own institute at Awantipora and was also working as a school principal at  Sabir Abdulla Public School Jawbhara, Awantipora.

Zulkarnain said that his slain brother and his father were part of Jamaat-e-Islami and that it was no crime to be associated with it.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday released a press release on the custodial death of youth belonging to south Kashmir’s Awantipora area.

A police spokesman said in pursuance of ‘terror’ case investigation, one suspect Rizwan Pandit r/o Awantipore was in police custody .

‘The said person died in police custody. In this matter while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of crpc a magisterial enquiry is underway.’ He said.

Adding that separately police investigation has also been initiated in the jurisdictional area of incident.

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