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J&K govt orders probe into custodial death

September 19, 2003 04:18 IST

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered a judicial probe into the alleged killing of a person who was in the custody of security forces.

Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed ordered the probe after he visited the house of Tahir Hussain Maqdoomi, who died on September 14.

Maqdoomi, who was married on September 11, was picked up by the security forces next day and taken to their camp at Bomay, his family said.

Confirming the arrest of Maqdoomi on the intervening night of September 14 and 15, security forces said that while being taken to Harven for effecting a recovery he was killed in a mine blast triggered by militants that left five soldiers injured.

Villagers staged a demonstration outside Sopore police station for the last three days demanding a probe into the killing.

The chief minister, who was accompanied by his daughter and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to the victim's house this afternoon, said his government would neither accept nor cover up human rights violations.

Both Sayeed and Mehbooba assured the family members and the people assembled from neighbouring villages that the government would get the case thoroughly investigated and punish the guilty.

"We got the mandate of the people to restore peace with dignity and protect their human rights even while fighting militancy. There is no scope for anyone to abuse human rights, particularly of the innocents," Sayeed said.

Sayeed said he had asked the army, paramilitary forces and the police to ensure protection of the innocents while dealing firmly with the militants.

He said while the probe as demanded by the people would unfold the truth, he does not approve of inhuman treatment even to the militants.

"Such things cause alienation, which our coalition government is trying to address in our effort to restore peace in the state," Sayeed said.

Army camps were located in many areas where they have cordial relations with the local population. They are coming to their help by providing several facilities that are not otherwise available there, he said.

"Life has no substitute and nothing can bring it back. The fact is that the dependents of the deceased must be able to spend rest of their lives in an honourable manner," he said.

The chief minister announced jobs to Tahir's widow and his younger brother Tariq Hassan. He also announced upgradation of the road leading to Tujjar Sharief.

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