New Delhi (Sputnik): A school teacher, identified as Rizwan Asad Pandit, of Awantipore in the India-administered region of contested Kashmir died in the custody of India's National Investigation Agency (NIA), according to reports. The deceased was by picked up by the NIA three days ago on suspicion of engagement in terror activities and was lodged in the CARGO camp of the Special Operations Group (SOG), according to the Jammu and Kashmir police.
The state police have requested a magisterial inquiry to ascertain the actual cause of death.
"In pursuance of a militancy case investigation, one suspect Rizwan Pandit r/o Awantipore was in police custody. The said person died in police custody. In this matter, while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of Indian penal code a magisterial enquiry is underway", a statement issued by the state police reads.
Family of Rizwan Asad Pandit mourning after hearing the news that he was killed under police custody. Pandit (from Awantipora Pulwama), as per sources was picked up by NIA few days ago & was lodged in CARGO camp of (SOG) J&Kpolice. Died between 18/19th march. pic.twitter.com/cL8EO216ue— The Kashmir Press (@TheKashmirPress) March 19, 2019
Meanwhile, intense clashes erupted between security forces and residents of Awantipora protesting the death of Rizwan. All commercial establishments remain closed in the area, with the administration indefinitely suspending internet services to avert a flare-up of violence, according to reports.
The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, demanded exemplary punishment for those involved in the killing of 27-year-old Rizwan, calling it an "unacceptable development".
I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man. https://t.co/Jj9RzsFu7r— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 19, 2019
Another senior head and former chief minister of the state, Mehbooba Mufti, said that the "repressive approach" adopted by the Indian government is pushing youth towards militancy.
Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough. https://t.co/YF4RhVb1QQ— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) March 19, 2019
Earlier on Monday, security agencies detained at least 11 people, including a prominent religious cleric from south Kashmir's Pulwama district, for being "terror suspects".