Srinagar: Tehreek-e-Hurriyat (TeH) chairman Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) on Tuesday condemned the custodial death of Awantipora school teacher – Rizwan Pandit aged 28.
The TeH chairman in a statement said: “Such brutality is unjustified and has no place in a civilised democracy. There is a deep sense of insecurity in the entire Valley.”
Sehrai said, “The unprecedented use of violence against the unarmed and innocent Kashmiris is a daily affair. The forces are stifling the voice of Kashmiris, committing all sorts of atrocities and repressions and unfortunately the international community is turning a blind eye to gross and systematic human rights abuses in Kashmir,” adding, “It is high time the world community force India to understand that violence is not and cannot be the answer to political demands for justice and rights.”
The pro-freedom leader paid his tributes to Rizwan and expressed sympathy with the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
The Bar Association while denouncing the incident in a statement said: “Rizwan, who was a teacher by profession and was running his own school, was arrested by the police some six months back without any rhyme or reason and got detained under J&K Public Safety Act and lodged in District Jail Kathua. His detention order was however quashed by the High Court, but he was not released. Instead, he was booked in a ‘frivolous’ case by police Awantipora, in which case also, he got bail from a Pulwama court, but despite that, he was kept in P/S Awantipora unlawfully, for about twenty days. It was after 20 days’ of unlawful detention, that he was released, only to be re-arrested by the police again some three days back and while in custody, he was tortured and killed.”
The Bar demands an investigation by a special investigation team, “which should report the result of the investigation on daily basis to the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, so that those who are responsible do not go unpunished”.
The Bar also requests the International Community to take notice of this incident and raise their voice against the massive human rights violations in Kashmir.
“In order to record protest and show solidarity with the members of the bereaved family, the Bar Association has decided to support the strike call given by the pro-freedom leadership for Wednesday and it has been decided to request all the lawyers to abstain from the court work on March 20,” the statement said.
The DFP spokesperson in a statement said that “Kashmiri people are facing such tyranny from last three decades and the irony is that the culprits are being given promotions instead of taking them to book. This has made the situation so worst that now police are arresting an innocent school teacher and kill him in custody”.
Expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, he appealed the human rights activists to come forward and take this serious issue to the international court of justice so that the culprits are given exemplary punishment.