‘Terror case probe’: Kashmiri teacher ‘killed’ in police custody

Punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man, says former chief minister Omar Abdullah

Reuters March 19, 2019
Rizwan Asad Pandit, a chemistry graduate, taught at a private school. PHOTO COURTESY: IBTTIMESINDIA

SRINAGAR: Protests flared in parts of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) on Tuesday after police said a teacher being questioned in connection with a security investigation had died in custody.

The dead man, Rizwan Asad Pandit, a chemistry graduate who taught at a private school, according to his family, had been arrested as part of a “terror case investigation”, a police spokesperson said.

Inquiries were being carried out into the cause of his death, the spokesperson added.

Pandit’s brother, Zulkarnain Asad Pandit, was sceptical that any investigation would reveal the truth.

“We want an investigation of it but we know nothing is going to happen,” the brother said. “We’ve all seen investigations for the last 20 years.”

Protesters threw stones at police in several parts of the disputed region following news of Pandit’s death, with shops shutting in parts of the main city of Srinagar. Police responded with tear gas.

Two youth martyred by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir

The dead man came from a family with links to the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), his brother said.

The Indian government recently banned the group which it accuses of having links to militant organisations.

The occupying forces have arrested hundreds of JeI members since the February 14 suicide attack in Pulwama district. The group denies it is linked to militants.

“He was totally innocent and he had no affiliation with any militant outfit,” Pandit’s brother said.

Several prominent political figures in occupied Kashmir condemned he death of the man.

“Punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” said Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister of the state said on Twitter.


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