Magisterial probe into custodial death; SI beaten

Excelsior Correspondent

REASI, Dec 16: Deputy Commissioner Reasi today ordered Magisterial inquiry into the case pertaining to death of a man in police custody while people staged massive protest demonstration against the police outside the office of SDM and SSP and disrupted movement of traffic in the town here.

A Medical Board was constituted on the demand of public for conducting postmortem of the body of deceased Manoj Kumar. The Board comprised of three doctors from District hospital Reasi. They are Dr R C Sharma, Dr P S Thakur and Dr Mohan Attri. The postmortem was conducted under videography in presence of the Magistrate.

A large number of people gathered at the hospital here at around 9 am today as the body of the deceased had reached from GMC Jammu during last mid night. Hundreds of people, including family members and relatives of the deceased, staged protest at the hospital. Then they moved towards the office of SDM and Tehsildar near Bus Stand and staged protest. They were shouting slogans against the police and demanding action against SHO and other cops allegedly involved in the torture and death of Manoj Kumar (40). They also demanded job for the wife of the deceased person. The agitators blocked main road and disrupted movement of traffic for about two hours.

When the irate mob was protesting, they noticed SI Tilak Raj (IO of the case) alongwith a few cops moving around. The mob turned violent and caught hold of the Police Sub Inspector and gave good thrashing. Most of the ladies in a fit of anger pounced upon the cop, tore his clothes, dragged out his jacket and put it into a burning earthen pot (Bhathhi) of a nearby shop. Some youth came with large ‘Tenthas’ and 'Kadshas’ and ran after the SI but he moved inside a shop and was rescued by some people.

DC Pandurang K Pole when contacted said that on the demand of public, one man inquiry has been ordered. He said Ist Class Magistrate (Tehsildar), Reasi, Gopal Singh has been directed to conduct inquiry and submit a report with in a month. He said the autopsy report will go to the FSL Jammu and this process take some time. Medical Board under the supervision of Medical Superintendent conducted the postmortem.

SSP Reasi Anand Jain, however claimed that though accused Manoj Kumar was in police custody merely on papers, but he died in Jammu hospital. Inquiry will reveal the facts. He however, said that no action has been taken against SHO Reasi Varinder Gupta or any other cops pending inquiry. They will face action only after charges were proved against them.

Meanwhile, after the conduct of postmortem, the cremation of the body took place at the bank of river Chenab here this afternoon. A large number of people from all walks of life including political and social activists attended the funeral.

Qureshi shifted to Doda for interrogation
SOG Jammu to take custody of ultras from HP

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 16: Hizbul Mujahideen commander Ghulam Nabi Sheikh alias Javaid Qureshi and his associate Tanveer Ahmed were today shifted to Doda under tight security arrangements while a SOG Jammu team will leave for Kangra in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday along with a production warrant taken from Doda court to take custody of another Hizbul divisional commander (finances) Jameel Ahmed alias Nasir Qureshi and Ghulam Nabi, who were arrested yesterday in a joint operation by SOG Jammu and Himachal police.

While Javaid Qureshi and Tanveer Ahmed reached Doda this evening, Jameel Qureshi and Ghulam Nabi are expected to be taken over by SOG Jammu either on Saturday or Sunday from Himachal Pradesh police and brought to Jammu. Significantly, all four militants including the two commanders hailed from Marmat area of Doda district.

With the arrest of four militants, all of whom were operating in Marmat, only two militants of the outfit were now left in hilly belt of Doda and efforts were being made by police to nail them, official sources said.

A team of SOG Jammu led by SP Pawan Parihar, which was instrumental in the arrest of Jameel Qureshi and Ghulam Nabi, is leaving for Dharamshala in Kangra on Saturday to take custody of the two hardcore militants from Himachal Pradesh police.

A production warrant has been secured from a court in Doda, where they were wanted in over 14 FIRs registered against them including 10 pertaining to killings. The production warrant will be produced before the court in Kangra district headquarters to take custody of Jameel and Nabi on Saturday.

Police and SOG Jammu were hopeful that they would get custody of the militants on Saturday when three days remand of the militants taken by Kangra police will also end. Immediately after taking custody of the militants, police will shift them to Jammu for sustained interrogation to ascertain their motive of crossing over to Himachal Pradesh and about network of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit.

Another suspect Farooq Ahmed was today arrested by Kangra police on the disclosures of Jameel and Ghulam Nabi.

Reports said Jameel Ahmed and Ghulam Nabi used to clean temple at village Kotla where they had been staying on fake names to ensure that the people did not doubt them. They had also stayed in a house close to an Army installation and conducted recee of some other areas.

Meanwhile, a police party headed by DySP Headquarters, Doda, Nazir Ahmed Ganaie today shifted Javaid Qureshi and Tanveer Ahmed to Doda. Doda police had taken the custody of both militants from Dehradun police on Tuesday. They were shifted to Jammu yesterday evening and driven to Doda this morning under tight security arrangements.

Sources said questioning of all four militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit was likely to expose a vast network of the outfit spread in Doda, Kishtwar and other areas of Jammu region. Both Qureshi and Jameel were active militants since 1993. They were among the longest surviving ultras in the State.

Sources said the militants were on the run from Jammu due to mounting pressure on them by security forces and police.

On November 14, Delhi Police arrested another divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Mohammad Abdullah Chechi alias Abdullah Inqullabi on the information given by Rajouri police from Deer Park near IIT in South Delhi. He has already been shifted to Rajouri.

Curfew in parts of Srinagar

SRINAGAR, Dec 16: Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir today announced imposition of curfew in parts of the summer capital tomorrow to scuttle attempts by Shia mourners to take out the Muharram procession through the city.

The decision to impose curfew in the areas falling under seven police stations was taken by the district administration, officials said.

They said the curfew will be strictly imposed tomorrow in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Police stations Kothi Bagh, Maisuma, Kralkhud, M R Gunj, Safa Kadal, Nowhatta and Khanyar, covering major parts of the city.

The imposition of curfew coincided with the threat of chairman of moderate Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq that he will defy the restrictions on his movement and will offer Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid.

Mirwaiz could not offer Friday prayers at the historic mosque, falling under the jurisdiction of Police Station Nowhatta, for over one month due to his house arrest.

A spokesman of the traffic control said there will be no traffic movement from Jehangir Chowk to Dalgate bridge via Maulana Azad road in view of the curfew.

"Traffic will not be allowed from Jehangir Chowk-Hari Singh High Street-Residency Road up to Radio Kashmir Crossing," the spokesman said.

He said there will be no traffic movement tomorrow in old city areas as well due to the imposition of the curfew.

Meanwhile on the eve of Muharram, Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah paid tributes to Hazrat Imam Hussain and his companions, who sacrificed their lives and tolerated worst kind of atrocities at Karbala in Iraq to safeguard righteousness, humanity and justice. (PTI)

NC-Cong Coordination Comm meets

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 16: After several months, the National Conference-Congress Coordination Committee met under the chairmanship of Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief, Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz here this evening and discussed various issues.

It was discussed that since the 73rd Amendment has empowered the Panchayati Raj Institutions and further democratized them in the country, it is necessary to adopt the provision of amendment.

It was, therefore, decided that a committee would be constituted to go into this question in depth and recommend within a month, the areas where the current Panchayati Raj Act in the State needs to be amended to incorporate the provisions of the 73rd Amendment, said a handout issued by PCC.

The Coordination Committee also agreed on the issue of constituting District Level Advisory Boards for Gujjar-Bakerwals, Pahari Speaking People, SCs, OBCs and Kissan Board as early as possible.

The Committee further decided that the State Government should take over the properties and the management of the Centaur Lake View Hotel, Srinagar and take up the matter immediately with the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather, former Deputy Chief Minister, Mangat Ram Sharma, Minister for Industries, Surjit Singh Slathia and MLA and National Conference vice-president, Ch Mohd Ramzan.

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