Kashmir shuts against custodial death of Awantipora teacher

Life was affected in Kashmir valley on Wednesday due to a protest shutdown called by the separatists against the custodial death of a school teacher yesterday.

Witnesses said that all shops and other commercial establishments remained closed in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk in Srinagar city. However, public transport was seen plying in areas like Batamaloo.

Reports of a complete shutdown were also received from other district headquarters of the valley.

An official said that the forces in adequate numbers have also been deployed in sensitive areas to thwart any protests in view of shutdown call issued by the Joint Resistance Leadership.

Mobile Internet services have also been snapped in southern Kashmir and the speed throttled to 2G in Srinagar and Budgam districts in central Kashmir.

29-year-old Rizwan Assad Pandith died in the custody of police at CARGO camp in Srinagar, a police official said yesterday.

Pandith was picked up by the police from his home few days ago. “In pursuance of a militancy case investigation, a suspect Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora was in police custody. The person died in police custody. In this matter, while following the procedure laid down in section 176 of CrPC, a magisterial inquiry is underway,” a police spokesman said.

His death triggered a fresh wave of anger across Kashmir, even as the administration ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident that evoked widespread condemnation from the mainstream and separatist circles in the Valley.