School teacher dies in Police custody : Magisterial inquiry underway: Police


SRINAGAR, Mar 19: A private school teacher died on Tuesday allegedly in the custody of  Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police in Srinagar. Official sources said that a youth identified as Rizwan Asad Pandit, a resident of Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district was picked up by National Investigations Agency (NIA) a few days ago and was lodged in the Cargo camp of SOG in Srinagar.

A teacher by profession, Pandit has reportedly died during the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday (March 18, 19). However, there were no immediate reports of circumstances in which the teacher has died. A local news gatherer, GNS has quoted police saying that they have requested for magisterial inquiry under 176 CrPC to initiate the thorough probe for ascertaining the actual cause of death. Besides, it said, the police have also ordered a separate inquiry to probe the incident. Meanwhile, in wake of the death, the authorities of Islamic University Awantipora have closed the varsity as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir police issued a statement regarding the death of an Awantipora youth in custody today. The police spokesman said that in pursuance of militancy case investigation, one suspect Rizwan Pandit, a resident of Awantipora in south Kashmir, was in police custody. The said Pandit died in police custody. In this matter while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of crpc a magisterial inquiry is underway. Separately police investigation has also been initiated in the jurisdictional area of the incident, police said.

On the other side, intense clashes erupted on Tuesday in Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district amid a spontaneous shutdown following the custodial death of a local school teacher. 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 Pandit reached there. An eye witness said thousands of people were waiting for his body at his home in Awantipora. Meanwhile, authorities have suspended the Internet service as a “precautionary measure” in the area. Pandit, who was arrested by the police in a militancy-related case, died in police custody at CARGO camp in Srinagar last night, a spokesman said in a statement.

Parts of Downtown Srinagar on Tuesday also witnessed a spontaneous shutdown in the wake of custodial death of a south Kashmir teacher. Eyewitnesses said majority of downtown areas and Maisuma in uptown Srinagar observed spontaneous shutdown soon after the news of custodial killing spread in the Valley. He said that the shopkeepers downed their shutters in Nowhatta, Gojwara, Rajouri Kadal, Hawal and Khanyar after announcements were made over the public address system of the Jamia Masjid asking people to observe shutdown. Similarly, shutdown was also observed in Maisuma area of uptown Srinagar as well.

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