PDP Chief Under House Arrest After Protest Over Death31 July 2011
Times of India
Srinagar: A youth's death in police custody in north Kashmir's Sopore, about 50km from Srinagar, triggered protests on Sunday. Chief minister Omar Abdullah promised 'swift and exemplary action' on Twitter. A J&K police special operations group picked up Nazim Rashid, 28, on Saturday night from Sopore's Chanikhan to question him in a case of a civilian's murder a few days ago. Police declared Nazim dead early Sunday but gave no reasons for the death. Nazim's father Abdur Rashid, a retired police constable, alleged he was tortured to death in custody. As news of the death spread, there was a spontaneous shutdown and people protested in Sopore. The CM ordered house arrest of half a dozen Kashmiri separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, to prevent them from visiting Sopore. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti was placed under house arrest. Omar tweeted, 'The death of Nazim Rashid in police custody is a gross human rights violation and inexcusable. Things like this cannot be allowed to happen.' Even before he issued directions to the police, Omar tweeted, 'Swift and exemplary action. No delays, no cover ups, no excuses. That's all I can promise and ensure. It's not enough, of that too I'm aware.' Mehbooba Mufti said, 'Ordering a probe in every atrocity has become a ritual for the CM. None of the inquiries has ever resulted in any action.' Suspension of an officer is a temporary device to check people's anger for a few days and then no follow-up action is taken. 'This is evident from the fate of the probe promised in many cases, especially in the cold-blooded murder of Shujaat ul Islam, Imtiyaz Ahmed and Ishtiyaq Ahmed last year in Anantnag,' she said. Even then, the CM had promised action within 24 hours, but the promise has not been fulfilled even one year later. Nazim's custody death is the first since 2009 when Manzoor Ahmad, a youth from Srinagar's Aloochibagh was killed in police custody.