Custodial killing of school teacher: Traders, politicians protest for justice
Srinagar, Mar 21: The outrage over the custodial killing of a school Principal, Rizwan Assad Pandith is spilling across the valley.
People from all walks of life Thursday came on streets and social media to condemn the killing and urged the authorities to bring those responsible to book and avoid such horrific incidents from happening henceforth.
Many have replaced their profile pictures on Facebook with Rizwan’s photographs and profile pictures with captions like “Punish killers” and “Justice for Rizwan”.
Shazia Khan, home maker and young mother, said she did not have to think twice before joining the protest held outside her home here in downtown Srinagar.
“I rushed outdoors and joined the protest staged outside my house. A young teacher was being whisked away from a school to a torture centre. He was neither pelting stones nor was he preaching violence. He did a job of grooming young minds through his teaching. Is that a reason to kill someone?” she said.
The downtown trader’s body held a protest on Thursday of which Shazia was also a part. They held placards with “Condemn custodial killing of Rizwan” written on them.
“This protest is being held to condemn the custodial killing of Rizwan who was handed over by NIA to SOG which eventually led to his death,” one of the traders said.
“All the members of traders’ body association have assembled here to protest against the custodial killing. Without any prior criminal record or any questioning, the youth are being dragged by the police and killed in the custody. We cannot tolerate this inhuman behavior,” he said.
Another protestor said, “We will not budge till justice is delivered. Detaining the innocent youth and later on torturing to death is not acceptable at all.”
Several student groups have launched an online campaign to register their protest against the custodial killing.
“If a teacher who shapes the futures of students is killed in cold blood and with such impunity, what future can the students imagine for themselves?” said Wasim, a college student.
National Conference too held a protest against the killing on Thursday by taking to streets.
Ali Mohammad Sagar, the party General Secretary said: “This protest is quite necessary. Such kind of incident has happened after a long time.”
“This protest was held against the atrocities done on the people of Kashmir. There is a blame game being played between NIA and police over his killing. FIR should be lodged and proper probe should be initiated. As per law of land, the culprits should be punished at the earliest,” Sagar said.
Senior National Conference leader Nasir Aslam Wani said, “A youth who was a teacher was killed in custody. It is not acceptable in today’s age and time. This was normal thing in 90s but we are now way ahead of those turbulent times.”
“A probe should be initiated and the investigation should be done thoroughly. The killing of this young teacher has come as a setback to all of us. The perpetrators if not taken to task will have dangerous consequences,” he said.
Rizwan, who was picked up the police and lodged in CARGO, an SOG camp in Srinagar, according to the initial probe, died because of “extravasation of blood” — the leakage of blood from a vessel into the surrounding tissues — caused by multiple injuries.
According to the latest report published on Thursday by a national daily quoting an official said, “The blood loss in soft tissues due to multiple injuries was extensive internally, and this must have led to irreversible shock. There was no blunt injury or damage to the internal organs.”