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Custodial death: Kashmir cops suspended
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
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February 17, 2007 23:16 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has ordered the suspension and arrest of four policemen allegedly involved in the arrest and subsequent murder of a local youth in Makwal village of Jammu district on Saturday.

The state police picked up Tarsain Lal in connection with a petty quarrel with a neighbour, family members said.

After the body was handed over to his kin's this afternoon, angry villagers surrounded the local police post and ransacked it. They pelted stones on cops and burnt a police van.

The local police maintain that the youth died of natural causes but the family of Tarsain Lal contested the claims and held police responsible for his death in custody.

Azad, who is away in Uttrakhand, ordered an inquiry and directed the director-general to suspend and arrest four cops involved.

Saturday's alleged custodial murder of the Hindu youth comes close on heels to the fake encounter scandal that rocked the valley early in January.

The police in connection with these killings have arrested a dozen cops including an SSP and a deputy police superintendent.

The chief minister has already announced a time-bound judicial commission to be headed by a high court judge to probe these killings and submit its report within three months.

However, the commission is yet to be set up as the government has not yet appointed the judge to head commission.

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