Kashmiri traders, Civil society demand special inquiry into Awantipora teacher’s custodial death
Srinagar, Mar 23: Kashmir business community and civil society on Saturday asked the Governor Satya Pal Malik to set-up an independent Special Commission of inquiry in the custodial death of Awantipora school teacher Rizwan Asad Pandit.
Addressing a joint press conference in Srinagar, the representatives of various trade bodies regretted that countless inquiries ordered in similar incidents thus far have not yielded any results.
“To deter future violations, we appeal to the Hon’ble Governor Satya Pal Malik for setting up of a time-bound independent special commission of inquiry,” they said.
The members said that till the time the commission submits its report, it would serve the ends of justice if the case is treated to be one of custodial killing and all persons associated with it are put behind bars and kept away from active duty.
“Such inquiries, suffering from institutional bias and state interference, have rarely served the interests of justice,” they said in a statement.
“We have a reason to believe that this killing would also suffer the same fate and the killers would again roam free to kill, more confident in the fact that their crimes will never be brought to account,” said the statement.
They said that the repeated perpetration of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law needs in-depth fact-finding and investigation.
On Tuesday, Rizwan Asad Pandit, a 29-year-old school teacher from Awantipora, died in police custody inside the SOG’s CARGO camp in Srinagar.
He was picked up for questioning from his home in Awantipora on Sunday.
The family had said that his body bore evidence of being subjected to extreme physical violence.
The press conference was jointly held by KCC&I, High Court Bar Association, KTMF, KEA, KTMF(R), FCIK(A), FCIK(M), JKSECC, KCSDS, KHARA, CCIK, All Transport Welfare Association, Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Dealers Association, Houseboat Owners Association, KHAROF, Pvt School Association, Kashmir Bakers Association, All Kashmir Chemist & Distributors Association, Hoteliers Club, All Traders & Transporters Coordination Committee, All J&K Taxi Owners Association, Association Of Kashmir Tour, Environmental Protection Group, Shehr E Khaas Coordination, Beopar Mandal S R Gunj, Rehabilitation Alliance, and Batamaloo Traders Association.