Govt must clarify under whose custody the murder of Awantipora youth happened, says National Conference

Srinagar: The National Conference on Wednesday said that the Jammu and Kashmir government should clarify whether the Awantipora youth was in the custody of NIA or state police at the time of his death.

Addressing a presser, NC Spokesperson Aga Roohullah said that the Government should clarify under whose custody the murder of the Awantipora youth took place.

NC said an FIR should be registered in the matter against the officials concerned.

“Whether the youth was in the custody of NIA or police, the responsibility lies at the door of the governor. The young teacher was in the custody of the state,” NC chief spokesman Aga Roohullah told reporters here.

“Initial reports said he was in NIA custody but now the NIA is washing off its hands. Whether it was the NIA or state police, an FIR should be registered so that the culprits can be identified,” he said.

Roohullah alleged that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was becoming an “instrument of terror” in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership, Kashmir valley is observing a complete shutdown against the ‘custodial killing’ of Rizwan Asad Pandith, a school teacher associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Shops and other business establishments are shut in the capital city Srinagar while public transport is off the roads. Reports of complete shutdown were also received from other district headquarters of the valley.

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.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) however denied reports that Rizwan Pandith who died while in their custody.

“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.

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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