Family shares sorry tale of custodial death of 21-year-old man in IIOJK


Srinagar, July 11 (KMS): Family of the 21-year-old youth, who was tortured to death in police custody, has strongly denied the Indian police’s claim that the he was a drug addict, which possibly led to his death.

The family members while brushing aside the claim asked why police brought him to his house in Srinagar’s Natipora locality in half-dead condition and not rushed him to the hospital, instead.

Fifty-three-year-old Shafiqa’s son, Muslim Muneer Lone, 21, was detained by the Police on July 9 for his alleged involvement in a theft case. A police team from the Nowgam police station in Srinagar came to their house at around 9:30 am on Saturday, according to the family.

“A policeman told me that Muslim was being probed in a case of theft and that they will set him free soon. Had I known that he was going to be killed, I would have never let them enter the house,” Shafiqa told media men.

About 15 minutes into the journey, the car came to a grinding halt, “The policeman asked me to shift to another vehicle which was parked on the roadside. When I got into the car, I saw Muslim lying on the middle seat. He couldn’t talk. They made me sign some papers and gave me Rs 400,” she said, loosening the knot at the corner of her scarf in which she had kept the cash.

Instead of going to a hospital or to the police station, the policemen brought the woman and her son back to their residence. “They hauled Muslim into a room with their hands. One of the cops asked us to switch on the fan and open the curtains. Muslim was unresponsive but they told us that he had lost consciousness,” Shafiqa said, showing a purported missed call that one of the investigators allegedly made to his phone at 4:38 pm before leaving the house. In the afternoon, Shafiqa said the same police team dropped in again.

According to her, there were only male policemen and they had come in a private car. “They told me that I have to come to the police station because Muslim had lost consciousness. I felt terrified,” she recalled, as a woman tucked loose strands of Shafiqa’s hair under a translucent scarf covering her head.

With the police team gone, Muslim’s condition showed no sign of improvement. “When we checked him, he had lost his breath. I immediately put him into my car and rushed him to a private hospital nearby where doctors declared him brought dead,” Zeeshan, Muslim’s cousin, told the media.