Jammu & Kashmir

Custodial killing of Srinagar youth: Court directs Crime Branch to register FIR against accused cops

Protest over killing of 21-year-old youth Muslim Muneer Lone in Budshah Nagar Natipora area of Srinagar. [Photo: Twitter]

Srinagar: A local court on Friday directed Crime Branch to register an FIR against now suspended policeman and other unidentified cops allegedly involved in the ‘custodial’ killing of Natipora youth at police station Nowgam.

The court directions came after the mother of the deceased youth filed a petition through her counsel Advocate Tasaduq Hussain Reshi.

After hearing the Counsel and taking the petition into consideration, the court of City Judge Ajay Kumar directed SHO Crime Branch to register an FIR against Abdul Rashid Munshi Police Station Nowgam and other Police officials involved in ‘custodial killing’ to bring the Culprits to book.

On Saturday last, 21-year-old youth Muslim Muneer Lone, a resident of Budshah Nagar Natipora area of Srinagar outskirts was summoned to the police station Nowgam in a case pertaining to the theft of a two-wheeler.

Hours later, he was allegedly dropped home dead, setting off a protest by his family and neighbors.

While the family accused police of custodial killing, the latter rubbished the charge claiming that Muslim Muneer was a drug addict. Later, police suspended an official and initiated an inquiry into the death of the youth stating that if anyone is found involved in the foul play he will be brought to justice without any favor and bias.

Muslim’s mother Shafiqa moved a petition before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) seeking a probe into the alleged custodial killing of her son.

The petition filed by Advocate Tasaduq Hussain Reshi on Shafiqa’s behalf sought directions to the Station House Officer (SHO) Crime Branch, Srinagar to lodge an FIR under relevant provisions of law against “accused persons” and all other unidentified police officials who allegedly tortured Muslim.

The petition also sought direction to the SSP Crime Branch, Srinagar to constitute SIT and conduct in-depth investigation into the matter and submit a periodical action taken report before the court, which can monitor the whole investigation in attending to peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.

The petitioners pleaded before the court to direct the SSP Crime Branch, Srinagar, to produce CCTV footage of Police Station Nowgam of the day of occurrence before the court with regard to the whole incident so that the same can be preserved for evidence.

Besides it, the petitioners submitted to conduct a Test Identification Parade under the supervision of Executive Magistrate 1st Class so that accused are identified at the earliest and brought to book.

According to Shafiqa, on the morning of July 9, 2022, some policemen in civvies came in a private vehicle and entered her house without any notice and whisked away her son.

When countered, the cops told Shafiqa that they are taking her son for questioning and will be released immediately.

The petition reads that: “the applicant despite in her old age managed to chase the vehicle of the accused persons, and begged for the release of her son, however, the applicant was asked to return home with an assurance that her son will be released soon after completion of some investigation,” reads the petition.

It further reads that the Shafiqa was restless all along the time till four plain-cloth policemen brought Muslim home in a state of unconsciousness. The petitioner alleges that policemen told her that her unconscious son will regain his consciousness soon.

Shafiqa, according to the petition, also alleged that she was forcibly made to sign a blank paper and given Rs 400 by the cops before fleeing from the scene.

“The applicant thereafter touched the body of her deceased son and found the same in a very cold state, however, the applicant further tried to pump the chest of her deceased son, however, he could not regain his consciousness,” the petition reads.

According to the petition, Shafiqa raised a hue and cry due to which neighbors and some of the relatives gathered at the residence and took the deceased to nearby Florence Hospital at Chanapora Srinagar where the doctors after conducting ECG of the deceased declared him brought dead.

“There were visible marks of violence and torture seen on the body of the said deceased which makes it clear that the deceased son of the applicant was brutally murdered in the police custody, the petition reads.

The petition submitted to the court that despite assurance from the higher authorities of the police, no FIR was lodged in this connection yet.

It is pertinent to mention here that Post mortem of the deceased was conducted by a team of doctors at Government Medical College Srinagar on July 10, and the report is still awaited.

“It is further to mention that the MRI was also conducted by the doctors but a copy of the report has not been provided to the family yet,” reads the petition.

The family alleges that the police in order to “cover-up” the accused, have assassinated the character of the Muslim by dubbing him a drug addict in a presser.

The Court of City Judge Srinagar Mr Ajay Kumar, after hearing the arguments of Counsel Advocate Tasaduq Hussain Reshi passed a detailed order.

The order reads, “Thus SHO PS Crime Branch is directed to get an FIR registered in the case against the accused no 2 Abdul Rashid and other unknown police official/s of PS Nowgam under the relevant sections of IPC and get the case investigated by an efficient police officer to bring the culprits to book.” (KNT)


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