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Custodial killing of school teacher: Traders, politicians protest for justice

Hirra Azmat

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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.”


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Voter turnout in Bijbehara, Anantnag a lesson for Mehbooba : Omar

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Kulgam, Apr 24: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that the low voter turnout in Anantnag and Bijbehara is a lesson for PDP and Mehbooba Mufti.

He asserted that the ensuing elections are significant since it provides the people of the state an opportunity to reveal how passionately they feel about their identity including Art370, Art 35-A.

Addressing two separate public meets at Chawalgam and Homeshalibug, Kulgam party vice president said that the threats of BJP-RSS to abrogate Art 370, Art 35A will be defeated as the people of the state will not allow them succeed in their nefarious designs. “ Today state is facing an assault on its special status from all sides, however all the machinations of the forces as are inimical to our status will fall flat if the people of our state show resoluteness in protecting the identity and integrity of our state. This time people across the state have taken it upon themselves to trounce the efforts as are hell bent to destroy the special constitutional status of the state,” he said adding, “Today’s elections is not about choosing MLA’s, today our state is fraught with a challenging situation. The need of the hour is to send a representative to Parliament who can fight for the interests of state, the situation that the state is facing today demands of having a credible voice at Delhi who can work tireless both within and outside parliament for the protection of Art 370, Art 35-A. Seeing the scope of work and the challenges we are facing, we considerately fielded Retired Justice Hasnain Sb from Anantnag constituency. He is known for his pronounced judgments on Art 370, Art 35 A. He boasts the necessary political and legal acumen to deal with the situation.”

 

While highlighting the importance of Art 370, Art 35 A, Omar said, “It is needless to say how important Art 370, Art 35-A are for the state and its people. Today the people of our state are masters of its own land. They work on their land, and derive their sustenance from it. God forbid, if these articles are done away with, the consequences that will follow shall be beyond our comprehension. The people of the state will stop to cleave to a respectable denomination which Sher- e- Kashmir bestowed upon them through famous land to tiller reforms and other people friendly measures. Our kids would not be able to derive various scholarships from government. The youth of our state will cease to be the sole beneficiary of jobs in government sector. Keeping in mind the far-reaching consequences of abrogation of our status, we deemed it fit to have Hasnain Masoodi represent us in parliament from Anantnag.”

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Mehbooba demands release of Yasin Malik

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday demanded the release of separatist leader Yasin Malik.

“Yasin Malik should be released immediately as he is really unwell. Also other members of Jamaat-e-Islami should be released. Sadhvi Pragya on whom there are several serious accusations has been set free,” Mufti said.

Delhi’s Patiala House Court Wednesday sent Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik to judicial custody till May 24 in connection with a 2017 alleged funding case.

 

Mehbooba also lodged a note of protest against a slew of measures brought about in the valley recently.

“After the encounter, families of militants are harassed and the cross LoC trade which was taking place through Muzaffarabad has also been stopped. The National Highway is closed for traffic for two days in a week and security forces are interfering in the daily life of people. We are protesting against all these issues,” she said. 

Elections in the state are staggered in five phases which began on April 11 and culminate on May 6. The counting of votes will be done on May 23.

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Rains lash Kashmir; weather to improve from today

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Srinagar, Apr 24: Rains continued to lash Kashmir since Tuesday evening, bringing the average temperature down in the valley.

The local meteorological department predicted improvement in weather conditions from Thursday evening.

The rains began on Tuesday evening and continued intermittently till this evening. The rains in the Valley led to dip in the temperature.

 

Deputy Director MeT, Mukhtar Ahmad said that the weather conditions in Kashmir would improve from Thursday evening.

He said the light rainfall would continue intermittently till Thursday evening following which there will be improvement in the weather.

Ahmad said that in plains the weather would improve from Thursday afternoon while in higher reaches it will start improving from the evening.

Meanwhile, an official in Meteorological department informed that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 12.0 degrees Celsius Tuesday night against 8.9 degrees Celsius normal for this time of the season.

The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir received 3.9 mm of rain since overnight till 8:30 hours, he said.

The official said that Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, recorded a low of 10.8 degrees Celsius and had a rainfall of 6.8 mm while the mercury in Kokernag town in south Kashmir settled at a low of 9.2 degrees Celsius and it had 8.6 mm of rains during the time.

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