Years on; family of custodial death victim awaits justice

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In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the family of one of the teenagers killed in the 2010 mass uprising has demanded the filing of charge sheet against the police personnel who tortured their son in custody that led to his death in a hospital.

Seventeen-year-old Umar Qayoom died at Soura Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar as his internal organs were damaged after police beat him during detention at Soura police station in Sri-nagar, in August 2010. He was the only son of Ab-dul Qayoom Butt, a local shopkeeper, and the father of three daughters.

In 2011 the family had moved an application be-fore the court seeking an FIR into his death wherein they had mentioned that Qayoom was “arrested by the personnel of Soura police station and was beaten mercilessly”.

On his eleventh death anniversary, today, Qayoom’s family held a press conference in Srina-gar to demand the filing of a charge sheet as nearly three years have passed after the FIR was filed on the directions of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar in 2018 but police have failed to submit a chargesheet into the case.

“Despite the passing of three years since an FIR was lodged into the case, after 8 years of fighting for justice in the court, police have not filed a chargesheet in the case,” the family said.

Qayoom’s sister, Arzeeba demanded answers from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, I want to ask Modi who said in 2019 that there will be Naya Kashmir.

“I want to ask him, where is Naya Kashmir? Does it take 8 years to file an FIR and 3 years to file a chargesheet in Naya Kashmir? Is this Naya Kashmir?” she asked.

“My brother (Umar Qayoom) was mercilessly beaten to death by police after he was arrested by police in 2010 when agitation in Kashmir was at a peak,” said Arzeeba.

Arzeeba, who is adamant to fight for justice, said that her fight is not with anyone but justice for her brother.

“I have a problem with the justice sys-tem here. I know there might be consequences but I am ready to face everything and will fight for my brother till my last breath,” she added.

Referring to the delays in the investigation, Ar-zeeba questioned why the “justice system in Kash-mir is so weak that it took them 8 years to lodge an FIR.

“Police were given 42 days to file a chargesheet into the case but it has been 3 years but the charge sheet has not been filed before the court,” she added.—KMS

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