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Slain teacher’s family begs for justice

Rizwan 1

Srinagar, Mar 20: The body of the deceased school teacher carried significant injury marks on face and lower part of the body indicating that he was tortured to death, the family said on Wednesday.
Rizwan Assad Pandith, a 29-year-old private school teacher, was whisked away by police from his home in Awantipora Sunday and was killed in custody during the intervening night of March 18 and 19.
Mubashir, elder brother of the deceased, said Rizwan’s body bore multiple burn and cut marks.
“When we shrouded him before burial, I examined his body. He had injury marks on his head and face, his left eye was blackened,” Mubashir said.
“On the back side of thighs, there were horizontal cut marks. The entire portion was black as if he was subjected to electric shock or exposed to fire. The knees too seem injured and the tummy was swollen,” he added.
“I felt that his right-leg were broken and not in a proper position. He must have gone through brutal torture,” he added.
The family said the findings of the medical report, done at SMHS hospital on Tuesday, were not revealed to them.
Asked about the inquiry initiated by the government, Mubashir said that officials from Deputy Commissioner’s office recorded the family’s statement.
“Some two government officials probably from Deputy Commissioner’s office came to our home today and inquired which police party raided our home and took my brother to Cargo,” he said.
The family, which contested police claims of Rizwan’s links with militancy, said that Rizwan was innocent. They demanded stern punishment for the guilty.
“We were living a normal life and my brother was pursuing Ph.D. He was not involved in militancy related cases as he would always concentrate on his job and studies. We demand a stern punishment for the guilty so that nobody faces the same treatment in the future,” he said.