J&K

J&K police fails to file inquiry report in ‘custodial killing’ of Pulwama school teacher

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir police have failed to submit the report before the magisterial officer in the alleged custodial killing of a school principal, Rizwan Assad Pandith, a media report said.

Pandith, a resident of Awantipora town of Pulwama district, was picked up by police in a nocturnal raid from his house on March 17. He was arrested and detained in Cargo, elite interrogation centre of Jammu and Kashmir Police, and died two days later, News 18 reported.

The family of Pandith, 29, alleged that he was killed in police custody as torture marks were visible all over his body. “His backbone was broken. There were bruises on his face and head. His thighs were burnt down,” Pandith’s brother Mubasir told News18.

After condemnations and protests over his death, the state government ordered a magisterial probe, promising that a time-bound enquiry will be held.

On March 22, the additional commissioner revenue who has been appointed as the enquiry officer, wrote a letter to the Senior Superintendent (SSP) of Police Awantipora, seeking a report within four days.

The police was also asked to submit details of “army unit/ personnel, paramilitary forces”, “police personnel that took part in the arrest” and “custody of the deceased.”

The report was supposed to be filed in four days, but seven days after the letter was sent, the enquiry officer is yet to receive the police report. “I have not received the response of the police yet. I am going to write another letter to the police and ask them why they have not filed the report yet,” the enquiry officer, Qazi Masood, said.

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