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NIA denies detaining school teacher Rizwan Pandith who died in police custody

Srinagar: National Investigation Agency (NIA) has denied reports that Rizwan Pandith who died while in custody was called for questioning by the agency.

“NIA emphatically denies reports linking NIA with Rizwan Ahmed resident of Awantipora. He was neither called for questioning nor was he examined at any other location in connection with cases being investigated by NIA,” a statement by the agency read.

Rizwan Pandith, who was arrested by the police in a ‘militancy-related case’, died in police custody at CARGO camp in Srinagar last night, a police spokesman said in a statement.

Joint Resistance Leadership has called it an ‘act of state terrorism’, and announced a shutdown in protest against the same.

Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) has supported the strike call extended by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) against the ‘brutal custodial killing’ of Awantipora youth Rizwan Pandith.

As soon as the news of the custodial death of Rizwan Pandith, a teacher in Awantipora reached the area, intense clashes erupted and a spontaneous shutdown was observed.

Reports said that all shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in the area while traffic went off the roads soon after news of death of Rizwan Pandith reached there.

Students at the University of Kashmir also staged a protest against the custodial death of Pandith and summons issued to Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Reacting to the incident, Omar Abdullah demanded exemplary punishment to those responsible for the death of Pandith.

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti while reacting over the custodial death of the Awantipora youth said that GoI’s repressive approach has left young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms.

Peoples Conference Chief Sajad Lone in his reaction said that ‘this is what sanctity of human life has been reduced to in Kashmir.’

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