Awantipora: Jammu and Kashmir Police said that Rizwan Asad Pandit, a school principal and Jamaat-e-Islami member, died while trying to escape from the cops, refuting previous claims of custodial death.

A top police officer said that Pandit jumped and tried to escape from an armored vehicle when he received severe injuries. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed later. 

Pandit was picked up by the police and National Investigation Agency (NIA) for questioning in connection with the Pulwama suicide attack, sources told MyNation

Also read: Terror suspect dies in custody in Jammu and Kashmir, cause of death being probed

The Jamaat-e-Islami member said that he knew about hidden RDX in Khrew area, following which he was taken to the location. However, other than cooperating with cops, he tried to escape and the accident happened. 

Following his death, violent protest erupted in Awantipora, from where Pandit belonged, and other areas of the Kashmir Valley.

Pandit’s family claimed that he did not have any terror links and only because he was a supporter of Jamaat-e-Islami he was killed. 

Jamaat-e-Islami is an Islamic political organisation, which was banned by the government last month. 

Pandit was arrested and released several times before. He was living a peaceful life in Awantipora after getting bailed, stating his brother  Zulkarnain Asad. “We want the killers to be punished,” he added, claiming that Pandit was murdered in cold blood. 

Meanwhile, NIA also denied the custodial killing reports. 

A magisterial inquiry is underway following the procedure laid down in section 176 of the CrPC. 

Kashmiri leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti condemned the incident and demanded punishment for Pandit’s killers. 

"I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development and must be investigated in a transparent, time bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man," Omar tweeted.
PDP leader Naeem Akhtar has also asked administration to come clean on the incident.

Joint Resistance Leadership called shutdown in Kashmir. “JRL has strongly condemned the custodial killing of 28-year-old school teacher Rizwan Asad Pandith of Awantipora who was picked up by the SOG and NIA a few days ago,” said a statement today.