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Man detained in connection with Pulwama terror attack dies in police custody

The 28-year-old, identified as Rizwan Asad Pandith, worked as a teacher at a private school. Police said that he was an activist of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir.

Statesman News Service | Jammu |

Violence erupted in downtown Srinagar and Awantipura areas when a man, who was detained for interrogation in connection with the terror attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were recently killed, died in police custody on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old, identified as Rizwan Asad Pandith, worked as a teacher at a private school. Police said that he was an activist of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami in the Pulwama area of South Kashmir.

Rizwan was picked up by the police three days ago in connection with the terrorist attack and died around midnight yesterday. A magisterial inquiry under Section 176 CRPC has been ordered into his death.

IGP (Kashmir zone) SP Pani has confirmed that the teacher died in police custody and the cause of his death was being investigated. The police, too, separately initiated a probe in the jurisdictional area of incident.

Incidents of stone-pelting were reported in downtown Srinagar and Awantipura as news about death of the teacher spread. Police fired teargas shells to disperse the stone-pelters, who were demanding action against the NIA and policemen interrogating Rizwan.

Reacting to the death of the teacher, National Conference chief Omar Abdullah tweeted, “I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time-bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man.”

In another tweet, Omar said, “Midnight raids, crackdowns, rampant arrests, custodial murders, denial of democratic right to choose a government. Kashmir continues to suffer the fallout of the disastrous PDP-BJP alliance and from the Modi government’s muscular approach to J&K.”

 

PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GOI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forces to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough.”

 

School teacher, Pulwama terror attack, Police custody, CRPF personnel, Rizwan Asad Pandith
(Photo: Twitter/@MehboobaMufti)

 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating 14 February terror attack case in which an explosive-laden SUV driven by a suicide attacker of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) rammed into the convoy of CRPF.

The NIA is learnt to have scanned the mobile phones that were operating in the area at the time of the terror attack. Five top JeM terrorists have been killed in encounters with security forces after the incident.