Kashmir police arrested over death in custody

Nazim Rashid, a 28-year-old shopkeeper, died on July 31 after being detained by counter-insurgency police.


Afp August 08, 2011

SRINAGAR: Two policemen in Indian Kashmir have been arrested over the death of a man in custody, a case that sparked a one-day shutdown across the volatile region last week.

Nazim Rashid, a 28-year-old shopkeeper, died on July 31 after being detained by counter-insurgency police in the northern town of Sopore in connection with an unsolved murder. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.

"Two policemen have been arrested and a few others are under the scanner," a police officer told AFP on Monday on condition of anonymity.

The arrests were made at the weekend, he said.

Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir has been hit by a more than two-decade insurgency against New Delhi's rule that has left more than 47,000 people dead.

Police had already registered a murder case over Rashid's death and suspended three officers. Rashid's father has said his son's body bore torture marks.

Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Geelani organised a one-day strike in Srinagar and other towns on August 3 "to protest this gross human rights violation." He demanded an impartial enquiry by a UN body or international human rights groups.

Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has promised "swift and exemplary action" to find out how the man died and to punish anyone responsible.

Last year more than 110 people were killed when police and security forces opened fire during a series of demonstrations triggered by the death of a 17-year-old youth who was hit by a police teargas shell.

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