India’s own paper points gaping hole in police theory

Police register case against Rizwan posthumously

Srinagar, March 26 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, in order to save its skin, Indian police have concocted a story and registered a case against the victim of custodial killing, Rizwan Asad Pandit, days after he was laid to rest.

The principal of a private school, Rizwan Asad, was arrested by the police from his home in Awantipora area of Pulwama and three days later on March 19, his corpse was handed over to the family.

Indian daily Pune Mirror said, “Two days after the death of the 28-year-old teacher, the police filed an FIR against him for allegedly trying to escape from their custody, even as his family claimed that the wounds on his body suggested that he was brutally tortured to death by the cops”.

Chennai based newspaper The Hindu said the “sequence of events following the custodial death” points to “the gaping holes in the police theory”. “Three days after the death of Pandit on March 19 in police custody at Srinagar’s special counter-insurgency cell, Cargo, an FIR was lodged against the deceased for “an attempt to escape from a police vehicle” on the way to a location in south Kashmir,” the newspaper reported on Sunday.

There are three police stations in Awantipora police district – Awantipora, Pampore and Tral. The “escape case” has been lodged in the Khrew police station, not hooked up to the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), which can be accessed online by the citizens, the newspaper said.

“Meanwhile, the magisterial inquiry was handled by the Pulwama district after the police case was lodged in Khrew and not by the Srinagar district administration where the death occurred,” the newspaper added. The newspaper said though the police had claimed that Rizwan was rounded up for “a militancy-related case” that occurred at Pantha Chowk in Srinagar apparently last year, his name does not “figure in the police’s roznamcha”. The newspaper has accessed the police records.

The newspaper quoting the autopsy report of the Government Medical College, Srinagar, said the “external wounds have been suspected to be caused by some sharp object.” The post-mortem report is apparently not in conflict with what the family has said.

“On March 19, the police issued a statement saying that Rizwan had died in police custody.” The newspaper said that while Rizwan has been charged under Section 224 of the Ranbir Penal Code, for an attempt to escape from custody, there has been no FIR against the police officials in whose custody he died.

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