Youth’s death: NIA says it did not arrest him

Srinagar: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday denied having arrested or ever called for questioning a youth who died in police custody on Monday in Srinagar.

In a statement issued on Tueday, the agency said: “The NIA emphatically denies reports linking it with Rizwan Ahmed, a resident of Awantipora. He was neither called for questioning nor was he examined at any other location in connection with cases being investigated by NIA”.

Some media reports said here that 28-year-old Rizwan Asad Pandit died in police custody on Monday in Srinagar, and that he had been detained by NIA for questioning.

The police said Rizwan was picked up in a militancy-related case.

He was working as a teacher in a private school.

A magisterial inquiry under section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been ordered into the youth’s death in custody.

The Police have also ordered a departmental inquiry to ascertain the circumstances leading to the youth’s death.

Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, district magistrate Srinagar has said that the magis terial inquiry is being held by additional deputy commissioner Srinagar who h as already visited the spot where the youth was held in custody.

The district magistrate has said the inquiry would be completed soon and its findings will be made public.

Meanwhile, all political parties, including the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, People’s Conference, the CPI-M, Congress, Awami Attehad Party and others have demanded exemplary punishment to those found guilty in the custodial death of the youth.

The Separatist conglomerate, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have called for a Valley-wide protest shutdown on Wednesday against the custodial death.

Clashes continued in the Awantipora town between the security forces and stone-throwing youths after markets were shut as the news about the youth’s death reached his native town.