KUPWARA MAN’S ‘CUSTODIAL’ DEATH: Court notice on plea to arrest SSP, SIT members

Srinagar: A sessions Court has issued notice to government on a petition seeking directions to arrest SSP Kupwara and three other cops in connection with the ‘custodial’ killing of a man in Kupwara last month.
Hearing the petition filed by wife of the deceased—Nazir Ahmad Mughal, the Sessions Court Kupwara asked for the reply by March 17, advocate Dar Rashid, representing the victim family, told Kashmir Reader.
Besides the SSP, the plea seeks directions to arrest a Deputy Superintendent of police identified as Gowind Rattan, SHO Trehgam and Incharge Police Post at Awoora in the northern Kashmir district.
“It is evident from the statement of witnesses that (Mughal) was arrested by (DySP, SHO and Incharge police post Awoora) on February 6 without any FIR or remand order.
“He was confined illegally and the statement is backed by the remand order of Feb 14 of JMFC Kupwara. It is also evident from the statement of the witnesses that the deceased was brutally tortured by the (three cops who are) the members of the SIT (probing the case in connection with Mughal was arrested).”
“It is evident that the SIT was constituted by (the SSP) so all the actions done by the SIT will be deemed to be done in nexus of the (SSP).”
Mughal, father of five children, was killed allegedly in police custody and his death sparked massive protests in the north Kashmir district for four days, prompting the authorities to order a magisterial inquiry into the killing amid arrest of three cops. Subsequently, police ordered the constitution of the SIT.
The petitioner also seeks directions for restraining the SSP from continuing with the investigation of the case “as no one can be judge in his own cause.”
It also seeks directions to the doctors to submit “the explained report” regarding wounds on Mughal in addition to the viscera report.
Police spokesman had said that on February 10, Mughal, who was in police custody in connection with some murder case (FIR 76 of 2014), complained of chest pain and was shifted to District Hospital, Kupwara for treatment. “(Mughal) was attended by District Hospital doctors and after few hours he gave slip to police in the garb of attending the call of nature in the bathroom of the hospital. Instantly the search was conducted to trace him out and next morning his body was found near the compound wall of district hospital,” the spokesman had said.
However, the statement was rejected by the family who blamed cops for killing Mughal in custody.
“It is evident from the statement of medical officers who were on duty on the night of February 10 and 11 that no search operation was conducted in the hospital and that there was no hue and cry by police regarding fleeing or escape of the deceased from the custody of police officials,” the petitioner said, claiming that all these all things suggest that “the story of the Police is (concocted) and there is prima facie belief that the (Mughal) has been killed by the members of the SIT.”
The petition has been filed after the J&K High Court disposed of a PIL, seeking inquiry by CBI and judicial commission headed by sitting judge into the killing, and granted liberty to the petitioner.
“At the moment, the Sessions Judge Kupwara, being in seisin of the matter, it will not be appropriate to interject the proceedings by this Court,” a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey had said while disposing of the PIL filed by an NGO, Khawaab Foundation, through advocate Dar Rashid.