Home South Asia India Indian atrocities: Kashmir mourns the custodial killing of youngest principal

Indian atrocities: Kashmir mourns the custodial killing of youngest principal

News Desk |

The residents of the Banipura district in Indian occupied Kashmir valley are mourning the martyrdom of two young lives claimed by the Indian occupied army. The Kashmir Media Service reports that the Indian troops martyred two Kashmiri citizens, including Atif Ahmed Mir, a 12-year old boy while conducting a search operation in the Mir Mohalla area of Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Earlier today, throngs of Kashmiri citizens in Sopore came out to attend the funeral of Amir Rasool Kaboo, who was martyred by the Indian occupied forces in Baramulla on Thursday night. The civil society and merchants of Sopore are observing a complete shutdown to protest the loss of young lives at the hands of the brutal Indian occupation forces.

Indian atrocities in the valley continue to heighten and curfew has been imposed in the valley to quell the protest and anger that have risen in the valley over the death of Kashmir’s youngest school principal, Rizwan Asad. Earlier today, the Indian occupied forces have also put a lockdown on the Jamia Masjid, forbidding the Kashmiri Muslims to perform Friday prayers.

It is important to note that the preliminary post-mortem report, as shared by Indian media, reveals that Rizwan’s death could have occurred due to “profuse bleeding resulting from multiple injuries.

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq tweeted to express his disappointment over the repressive tactics of the Indian occupation. He said, “While repression, killings, and arbitrary arrests continue unabated, for the 3rd time this month Jama Masjid put under lockdown and Friday prayers disallowed. Condemn the authorities for this religious assault.”

Rizwan Asad: Budding Kashmiri Intellectual Brutally Slain

30-yeard old Rizwan Asad was the youngest Kashmiri school principal from Awantipora, who had been arrested by the Indian security personnel for a “terror case investigation”. He died in police custody, and while official statement of the police says that an investigation into the death is underway, Rizwan’s family is adamant that he was tortured and then brutally murdered in police custody. It is important to note that the preliminary post-mortem report, as shared by Indian media, reveals that Rizwan’s death could have occurred due to “profuse bleeding resulting from multiple injuries”.

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Rizwan Asad was a principal of a local school in Awantipora, a chemistry teacher along with a tuition teacher at the education center he ran in his town. Rizwan had also worked at a local polytechnic college and his family tells that the young man, upon completing his post-graduation, had plans to pursue a Ph.D. soon. However, on the night of 17th March, a raid was conducted at Rizwan’s house, he was rounded up by the police, and that was the last time his family had seen Rizwan alive. Two days later, his brutally tortured corpse was handed over to his family.

On Thursday, Rizwan’s family staged a large-scale protest in Awantipora Chowk, and they were joined by throngs of Kashmiri citizens from Srinagar and Jammu, including Muslims and Sikhs, demanding the authorities to release the postmortem report and take actions against the culprits responsible for the death of their son. While speaking to The Wire, Mubashir Hussain, Rizwan’s brother, termed his death as a “cold-blooded murder”. He added, “My brother had been brutally tortured. He was murdered in custody.”

The condition of Rizwan’s body bears testimony to the fact that he wouldn’t have been able to even walk a few steps, let alone escape from a vehicle. They are trying to bury this murder case as well, like scores of such cases in the past.

Mubashir stated the Rizwan’s thighs had “multiple horizontal cuts”, and explained that the doctors at Srinagar Hospital who conducted the autopsy revealed that he had also suffered a spinal cord injury. He explained the injuries to The Wire, “The thighs had turned black as if they had been burnt…there were cuts on the thighs. He had a swollen and bruised abdomen. Also, my brother’s right leg had swollen heavily and it had turned dark red. I could feel that the leg had been broken. ”

Rizwan’s father, Assadullah Pandit led the protests and revealed that his son had bruises on his head and his left eye was swollen, “as if it had been hit with force”. Pandit asserted that his son had been slain by the police officials, he said, “People don’t die in custody, they are killed. My son was killed in custody.”

On Wednesday, the police issued a statement that accused Rizwan of trying to escape from police custody while being shifted to another location. Rizwan’s family has completely refuted the police’s story on Rizwan’s alleged escape, and Mubashir has accused the police of attempting to cover his Rizwan’s murder.

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Mubashir told The Wire, “The police are trying to cook up a story that my brother tried to escape from their custody. It is an absolute lie. The condition of Rizwan’s body bears testimony to the fact that he wouldn’t have been able to even walk a few steps, let alone escape from a vehicle. They are trying to bury this murder case as well, like scores of such cases in the past.”

Commenting on the brutal murder of school principal and budding intellectual Rizwan Asad, President of the Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough.”

Indian Legacy of Custodial Killings & Brutality in Kashmir

In a conversation with Ayza Omar on her TV Show, Prabodh Jamwal, the editor of Jammu-based newspaper Kashmir Times, commented on the unfortunate custodial killing of school principal Rizwan Asad and expressed his skepticism over the commitments made by the local police in investigating the murder. He noted, “It is very unfortunate, and it is one of those incidents which have been continuing for the last three decades.

Prabodh Jamwal noted that this incident has garnered condemnation from political parties and the general public, and it is incidents like these that trigger “spontaneous protestations” against the Indian occupation across the valley.

There is no accountability and there is no fixation of the responsibility (on) why the youth or anybody for that matter-men, women or children, are detained and unfortunately tortured and killed in custody”.

Prabodh Jamwal noted that this incident has garnered condemnation from political parties and the general public, and it is incidents like these that trigger “spontaneous protestations” against the Indian occupation across the valley.

Rao Mujtaba, a lawyer based in Srinagar, told Ayza Omar that “custodial killings and torture” amongst other human rights abuses are “not new” for the people of Indian occupied Kashmir, who have been witnessing these atrocities since the past 30 years. “The only thing that changes is the name and the age of the person”.

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Mujtaba noted that there is an unprecedented number of such cases that go unregistered and unrecorded because the government of India and the state of Jammu and Kashmir do not allow the international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch the permission and resources to conduct holistic research on the exact number and nature of atrocities suffered by the Kashmiri people. He noted, “More than 10,000 custodial killing cases have been reported in Jammu & Kashmir”.

Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.