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J&K custodial death: 3 policemen suspended

Last updated on: July 31, 2011 21:14 IST

The death of a 26-year-old youth in police custody triggered high tension in north Kashmir Sopore town on Sunday even as authorities assured to bring the guilty to book.

A senior police officer in-charge of the anti-militancy operations in the town has been attached while three cops have been suspended after a case of murder was registered against the accused in the local police station.

Nazim Rashid alias Anjum was picked up by the special operations group of the state police along with two others for questioning in the killing of a local businessman Mohammad Ashraf Dar in Sopore town on July 28.

As the news about the custodial death of Nazim spread in Sopore town, high tension gripped it and authorities rushed heavy security force deployments in various localities of the town. Security forces enforced restrictions in various localities of the town gripped by tension.

The body of Nazim was on Sunday evening handed over to the relatives for burial after a post-mortem was conducted by a team of doctors constituted by the district magistrate and it has been videographed for evidence.

Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani said that the youth had been picked by the police after the family of the slain businessman Mohammad Ashraf Dar alleged that Nazim had identified him for the assassins.

Spontaneous protests and clashes erupted in parts of town on Sunday evening after the body of Nazim was brought to Krankshivan locality.

At least six persons are reported to be injured in Sunday evening clashes. Authorities have placed senior separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house, as he intended to visit Sopore town.

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party President, Mehbooba Mufti as per a party statement was also placed under house arrest by the authorities this evening.

An official statement said 'a case of custodial killing under Section 302-RPC has been registered'. "The in-charge of the police component Sopore, guard commander and sentry have been placed under suspension.  The deputy superintendent of police (operations) Sopore has been attached. Further action shall be taken based on the medical report and the findings of the magistrate", the statement said.

"These decisions were taken in a meeting convened by the minister of state for home, Nasir Aslam Wani attended by the principal secretary home, B R Sharma, Director General of police, Kuldeep Khoda and inspector general of police Kashmir zone", it said.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar