‘Were not even asked before post-mortem was conducted’
Anantnag: The family of Rizwan Assad Pandit who was killed in police custody late Monday night, said today that the body of their son bore severe torture marks all over, including stitches on his head, a swollen stomach, and cuts on his thighs.
Also, the family said that the post-mortem on the body was conducted without prior permission from anyone in the family.
Rizwan, a resident of Awantipora, was killed in police custody in Srinagar two days after being picked up from his phone by the local police.
Son of a Jama’at-e-Islami member, Assadullah Pandit, Rizwan was a post graduate in Physics, headed a private school and a coaching centre, delivered guest lectures at Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), and was planning to enrol in a PhD programme.
Police in their statement on Tuesday said that a magisterial probe will be conducted, but they are yet to explain the cause of Rizwan’s death.
Rizwan’s family has maintained that he was not involved in any militancy related case and was being harassed unnecessarily in the past.
“He was recently released after serving 4 months under PSA. They harassed him unnecessarily and if that was not enough, they have now killed him,” Mubashir Pandit, Rizwan’s brother, said.
The family, as per Mubashir, was asked to take Rizwan’s body from Police Control Room (PCR) in Srinagar, which they refused to do.
“He was taken from home and we asked them to deliver his body to us,” Mubashir said.
His body was finally brought to Awantipora police station and handed over to the family at about 8:30 Tuesday evening.
“We found what we expected. He had been severely tortured to death,” Mubashir said.
He said his brother had at least 5 stitches closing the wound on his head, a swollen stomach (indicating that his vital organs had been damaged), and severe cuts and bruises on his thighs.
“So, he did not just die as the police are claiming. He was killed in cold blood,” Mubashir said. “They did not have even the decency of asking us before opening up his body for a post-mortem after he was mercilessly killed.”
Later on Tuesday night, thousands of people attended the funeral of Rizwan – including his students from the school he headed and the coaching centre he managed in Awantipora.
He was buried at about 10:00 PM, amid cries and wails.
A complete shutdown was meanwhile observed across the south Kashmir region against the killing of Rizwan. Internet services, which were snapped late Tuesday evening, were yet to be restored in south Kashmir.