Awantipora Teacher’s family contest police claim of ‘escape from custody’

Says he was tortured, demand judicial probe; member of Sikh community join protest in Awantipora

Qayoom Khan

The family of Rizwan Ahmad Pandit, a teacher who “died in police custody” two days after arrest from his residence at 11:30 p.m. on March 17, on Thursday, rebutted police’s “theory” of “escape from custody” 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 told GNS, 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 Asad Pandit, a principal at a private school, was picked up by the police late March 17 during a raid at his family home and he died in police custody which was also admitted by the cops in the official statement.

“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.”

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. (GNS)

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