SRINAGAR: The youngster accused of murdering his ‘friend’ has told his relatives in central jail that police forced him into confession with third degree torture and a warning that his mother would be stripped if he refused to take blame on himself.
The accused has, however, confessed that he had been regularly talking to the murdered youngster.
“I went to meet my son at Central Jail Srinagar. He confessed to me that he would call Owais posing as a girl but categorically said that he did not commit the murder,” Abdul Majeed, father of Ishaan Majeed told Kashmir Reader.
Ishaan was held by police from his relative’s residence in Bandipora on January 14 during the investigation into the murder of an engineering student Owais Bashir, whose body was found from Humhama railway track. Police later claimed that Ishaan was involved in his murder and he had confessed to his crime.
“My son told me that he was forced into confession at Air Cargo camp of police in Srinagar where he was lodged after his arrest from Bandipora,” Majeed said.
“He (Ishaan) has been subjected to third degree torture. He told me that the policemen tied his arms, stretched legs and then gave him electric shocks,” Majeed said adding that during the torture when he screamed his mother’s name in acute pain, they abused the mother.
“We will bring your mother here and keep strip her naked. Then you will see what happens,” Majeed quoted his son as narrating his ordeal. “My son had been forced to accept all the charges,” he said.
Ishaan told his father that police took him to railway station on January 16 where he was threatened to be thrown under the moving train. “This boy is an irritant, throw him on the railway track and let the train crush him. And then we will tell his family that he committed suicide,” Ishaan quoted a senior police officer having told his men at the railway track, according to his father. He said one of the policemen even tried to hit his head with a boulder. “I was video-graphed at the railway track and again taken there on January 18,” Ishaan told his father.
Majeed quoted his son as saying that he a senior officer of the cargo camp warned him against retracting his confession. “Otherwise, we will get a knife from somewhere and say that you have murdered Owais with a knife,” he quoted his son as saying.
Police claimed that Ishaan was impersonating as a girl (Umaira) and talking to Owais on phone. The relationship continued for a year-and-a half until on Owais’s insistence they decided to meet each other on January 12.
Learning that Ishaan was a boy, police said, Owais entered into a scuffle with him that resulted into Owais’s fall on the railway track inflicting a deep wound on the back of his head that eventually caused his death. Two railway constables discovered the body on the track but sensing that they would be held responsible for the act, they dumped the body into a gorge where stray dogs tried to devour it, police claimed.
However, the police claims have discrepancies as per the autopsy report. “Owais’s body had no injury on the back of the head, and no dog bite marks were found on the body,” the autopsy report says adding the boy died due to fatal bleeding and there were torture marks on his body.
Ishan has told his father that he did not meet Owais on January 12 though on the insistence of his sisters he called his number because the sisters were worried on his disappearance. Ishaan also confessed that posing as Umaira he was also talking to Owais’s sisters and they knew their relationship.
Owais’s sister said that she called up Umaira on January 12 when he did not return his home. “Initially Umaira said she was in talking terms with Owais. Then she said that he had asked her to meet him but she did not go because it was late,” she said.
Next day, the family filed missing report at police station Humhama. That day, Owais’s sisters again called Umaira and she told them that she too was trying to track down Owais. At 1 pm, the sisters said, Umaira switched off her phone.
Ishaan corroborates this. “Ishaan told me that Owais called him and asked to meet on the railway track, but I refused because it was late. But when I got a call from Owais’s sisters I called him to ask where he was and his sisters were worried about him,” he said.
On January 13, when Ishaan was in Bandipora to attend a function and Owais’s family was frantically calling to know the whereabouts, he (Ishaan) panicked and broke his SIM card, Majeed said.
“I admit that my son was calling Owais and would play prank with him, but how does it justify that he had murdered Owais. My son is a lean boy and Owais was healthy. How can my son’s one push kill Owais?” he asked.
Owais’s father Bashir Ahmad Malik said that the murderer must be brought to book. “For argument sake, I accept that Ishaan cannot do it. But then who is the culprit. Someone is involved. If the killer is Ishaan, we need more proof to believe it. I couldn’t save my son, but I want his murderers to be arrested and jailed for life.”
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Magam who is part of the investigation team said, “Ishaan voluntarily accepted that he has murdered Owais,” the officer said.
He denied that Ishaan was subjected to torture or was threatened in custody. “Who did this? I don’t know. Whatever we had to say, we have written in the challan,” he said.