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Custodial Death: family demands exhumation of body

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“He might have died due to multiple injuries”

Awantipora: The family members and the locals on Thursday staged a protest demonstration in Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district against the custodial death of a school teacher.

Rizwan Assad Pandith, 29, died in the custody of police at CARGO camp of the special operations group in Srinagar, days after he was picked up by the police from his home.

The protesters, who were joined by the members of local Sikh community, demanded the exhumation of Pandith’s body to “show the marks of torture on his body”.

Chanting slogans, 'We want justice' & 'Rizwan ke qatilo ko pesh karo' the protesters assembled at the highway near gurdwara in Awantipora.

Talking to reporters, the father and brother of Pandith dismissed the reports suggesting that he had tried to escape from the custody.

“Rizwan was brutally tortured in the custody and that has led to his death,” said his elder brother.

Pandit's family claimed that there were torture marks all over the body of the deceased.

Showing photographs, on a mobile phone, of Pandit's body at a press conference in Awantipora, his brother, Mubashir, said the family wants exhumation of the body to show those torture marks.

"We will fight this. We will go through the legal process. We are not fighting with guns or bullets or stones, we will fight with them legally. We will take the legal course and bring justice to my little brother who has been tortured under their custody.

"We demand exhumation of the body, we will bear it, but we will show there are torture marks all over his body," Pandit's brother said.

Meanwhile, reports suggest that Pandith might have died of ‘multiple injures’ in the police custody, a media report said on Thursday.

Quoting from initial post-mortem findings, The Indian Express reported that Rizwan died because of “extravasation of blood”, the leakage of blood from a vessel into the surrounding tissues, caused by multiple injuries.

“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,” said the report.

Quoting an official privy to the findings, the report said that Pandith had cuts and injuries all over his body. He also had a haematoma (a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues) in his left arm and eye.

The official quoted in the news report has ruled out a heart attack saying that a “roller” may have been applied over his legs, causing the veins and arteries to rupture.

The government has said that the magisterial inquiry is being conducted by the district authorities in Pulwama.

Traders hold protest in Nowhatta

Srinagar: Trade bodies on Thursday held protests in Srinagar’s old down on Thursday against the custodial death of a school teacher.

Joint Resistance Leadership – an amalgam of separatist groups – had called for protests today.

Scores of traders affiliated with KEA, KTMF, KCCI, KTMF(R), FCIK, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj and other trade bodies participated in the joint protest held outside Jamia Masjid.

The protesters said that the custodial death of Rizwan Assad Pandith was a deep-rooted conspiracy.

Pandith (29) died in the police custody days after his arrest from his residence in Awantipora.

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