Youth dies in Kashmir police custody, tension in town

July 31st, 2011 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, July 31 (IANS) Tension gripped the town of Sopore in north Kashmir after the death of a youth in police custody Sunday. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah assured swift action against those guilty, though he admitted any action could not bring the boy alive again.

Nazim Rashid alias Anjum, 26, a resident of Krankshivan area of Sopore, was picked up by police over the death of Muhammad Ashraf, who was killed by guerrillas in the town Thursday.

As news about Anjum’s death in police custody spread in the town, tension gripped the area and heavy deployment of police and paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was made to tackle any eventual law and order situation.

Abdullah immediately tweeted his reaction.

“The death of Anjum Rashid in police custody is a gross human right violation & inexcusable. Things like this CANNOT be allowed to happen,” he tweeted.

“I expect the police to do nothing less than make an example of those responsible so that nothing like this ever happens again.”

“Swift & exemplary action. No delays, no cover-ups, no excuses. That’s all I can promise & ensure. It’s not enough, of that too I’m aware.”

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani termed it a “very unfortunate incident”.

“Nazim Rashid was picked by the police after the family of Muhammad Ashraf, slain by gunmen in the town July 28, alleged that Rashid had identified Ashraf for the assassins,” Wani told IANS.

“He was picked up for investigations on July 30 and his death occurred in custody during the intervening night of July 30 and 31.”

Wani said action has been taken against three policemen.

“We have attached the deputy superintendent of police in-charge of Sopore police component. Two constables of the component have been suspended. An FIR under section 302 (murder) of the RPC (Rambir Penal Code) has been lodged against those responsible for the youth’s death in custody,” he said.

“A team constituted by the chief medical officer is conducting the post-mortem examination of the youth’s body, which is being videographed for evidence,” Wani said.

“A judicial probe has also been ordered into the incident. The guilty will be brought to book.”

Nazim Rashid was the only son of his father Abdul Rashid.

“His mother passed away when he was just four days old,” the wailing father said when he received the news about his son’s death.

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