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Family approaches court to get back body, police ordered to hand it over after autopsy

Srinagar: A 45-year-old Srinagar resident who was kept in judicial custody in Srinagar Central Jail has died at SK Institute of Medical Sciences in Soura Srinagar on Thursday evening.

Mujeeb Siddiqui, a resident of Rawalpora, Srinagar, arrested on May 14 this year (case FIR No. 12/2020 U/S 66-D IT Act, 419,420,506 IPC) died due to “respiratory failure” at SKIMS, Medical Superintendent of the Institute Dr Farooq Jan told The Kashmir Monitor.  

“He was brought here as a case of community-acquired Pneumonia. He was suspected of Covid-19 but proved to be negative. His ECG was normal however the primary cause of death was respiratory failure,” Dr Jan said.

He, however, didn’t recall the day Mujeeb was admitted to the Institute.

However, family sources told The Kashmir Monitor that the deceased, who was accused of allegedly duping a woman from Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar, was shifted to SKIMS on June 10, and died on Thursday at around 7 pm.

A family member of the deceased said they were informed on Thursday of Mujeeb being admitted to the hospital.

“It has been nearly 24 hours, and the body hasn’t been given to us yet. They say his autopsy is being carried out,” a family member waiting for the body at Police Control Room Srinagar told The Kashmir Monitor.

On Friday, the family had to move a petition in the court of City Judge, Srinagar to get possession of the body.

It is the same court where Mujeeb’s bail application was supposed to be heard on the day.

The court directed Superintendent Central Jail Srinagar, SSP Srinagar, SP Cyber Police Kashmir, and SHO Cyber Police Station, Srinagar to hand over the dead body of the deceased to the legal heirs.

The court order read: In the police report, it has been specifically mentioned that on 11-06-2020 at about 8:50 pm, a signal was received from Sr. Superintendent Central Jail, Srinagar wherein Cyber police station Kashmir was intimated that the accused was admitted in SKIMS Soura has expired at about 19:00 hours and the dead body of the deceased  was taken into possession by the Central Jail Authorities from SKIMS, Soura in order to carry out the legal formalities and autopsy of the dead body which is presently lying in police hospital PCR Srinagar…

“It is also mentioned in the police report that dead body is still in custody of Jail Authorities which is placed at PCR Hospital Mortuary because Central Jail, Srinagar is not having any facility of mortuary.”  

Tej Ram Katoch, Sr. Superintendent, Srinagar Central Jail, said Mujeeb was brought to the prison on May 28.

“He was a smoker and bled from his nose a few times,” Katoch said, adding that Mujeeb was shifted to SKIMS “two days back.”

He said the body was kept in Police Control Room to carry out the autopsy.

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About the Author

A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

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