Srinagar: A man allegedly died in police custody Friday after he was called in for questioning along with two other people in connection with allegations of corruption against a local police officer, a source said.
The police source said three people – Muhammad Yusuf Shah, a land dealer belonging to south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town; Abdul Salam, a police wireless operator and Muhammad Yusuf, block president of the ruling National Conference from north Kashmir Ganderbal district – were called for questioning by the Crime Branch after complaints about the corrupt practices of Shabir Ahmad, a police officer in the chief minister’s security detail.
“Muhammad Yusuf Shah complained of some complication and he was immediately taken to the hospital where he died. The matter is being investigated”, police here said.
Shah’s relatives staged a protest in the Press Colony here demanding arrest of those responsible for his death. They alleged he had been killed in police custody.
As for Shabir Ahmad, he was transfered to south Kashmir’s Kulgam district immediately after the complaint against him was received, police said.
Meanwhile,Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a judicial probe into the death Friday in police custody of a man called in for questioning along with two others in connection with allegations of corruption against a local police officer, an official said.
A sitting high court judge will conduct the probe, the official added.
A government release Friday evening said during the assembly session Thursday, a National Conferrence worker, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, accompanied by party worker Abdul Salam Rishi – who was previously described as a police wireless operator – approached the chief minister’s office in the assembly complex with a complaint against another party worker, Sayeed Mohammad Yousuf.
The complainants were asked to report at the camp office in the afternoon, as was Yousuf.
“On being confronted by the complainants, Sayeed Mohammad Yousuf admitted to having received an amount of Rs.84 lakhs from Mohammad Yousuf Bhat and Rs.34 lakhs from Abdul Salam Rishi with a promise to facilitate undue favours to the complainants from the government,” the release said.
Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (Crime) was directed to verify the facts and take further necessary action under rules. He asked all the three persons to report to the police headquarters. However, Yousuf reported uneasiness and nausea and “was asked to move in one of the escort vehicles of IGP crime”, the release said.
At the police headquarters, a medical officer examined Yousuf and “declared him to be all right”, the release said.
However, Yousuf was protectively sent to the police hospital for a detailed medical examination. He was given further medical treatment at the hospital and was kept under observation in the hospital.
On Friday morning, “as he was complaining of slight abdomen pain, the doctors advised him to undergo an ultrasound test”, the release said, adding that Yousuf “suffered a massive heart attack and expired” before undergoing the test.
An autopsy was conducted on Yousuf and this was videographed. The body was thereafter handed over to his relatives.
“However, in order to allay all apprehensions and in order to ensure an impartial investigation, the state government has decided to request the chief justice of the J&K high court to nominate a sitting judge of the high court to conduct a judicial enquiry into the immediate circumstances leading to the death of Sayeed Mohammad Yousuf,” the release said.
Earlier reports had said Abdul Salam Rishi, one of the two complainants, was a wireless operator working for chief minister’s security.
The official release confirmed that all the three persons, including the deceased, were workers of the ruling National Conference.
Reliable police sources told IANS Yousuf had been accepting huge bribes allegedly on behalf of a police officer, deputy superintendent of police Shabir Ahmad, who was part of the chief minister’s security detail.