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Magisterial Probe Ordered into Custodial Death of Pulwama Youth Arrested in Narcotic Case

Srinagar, June 5: A magisterial probe has been ordered into the alleged custodial death of a youth from Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials confirmed on Tuesday. The deceased, Imtiaz Ahmed Pala, a resident of Braw Vandana Pulwama, was arrested on the evening of June 3 during a naka (checkpoint) checking operation.

Police reported that Pala developed “severe health complications” during his detention and was subsequently shifted to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. A senior police officer announced that a magisterial probe has been initiated to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding Pala’s death. “A magisterial probe has been ordered to ascertain the cause and circumstances that led to his death,” the officer stated.

The family of the deceased has made serious allegations against the police, claiming that Pala was picked up during a cordon and search operation. They allege that he was subjected to torture while in custody, which led to his death. “He was tortured to death in custody,” a family member asserted.

Pala’s body was handed over to his family last night for burial. The incident has sparked outrage and demands for justice, with various political figures calling for an impartial investigation into the matter.

According to the FIR, Pala was arrested on June 3 based on specific intelligence regarding the movement of narcotic smugglers operating in Pulwama. A joint naka was established at the village Grawgund where vehicles and pedestrians were being checked and frisked. During the operation, Pala allegedly attempted to flee but was apprehended after a chase.

The FIR details that during the chase, both Pala and a police officer, Sgct Sahil Raina, sustained injuries. Upon searching Pala, police claim to have found a substance resembling heroin in his trouser pocket. Preliminary questioning indicated that Pala was en route to meet with foreign terrorists active in the Pulwama district.

A case under sections 8 and 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act was registered at the police station in Litter Pulwama. Meanwhile, former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti has demanded a thorough investigation into Pala’s death in police custody.

Mufti took to social media, stating, “Imtiaz Ahmed, an accused in a narcotics case from Pulwama, has died in police custody while another is battling for his life at Base Hospital in Badami Bagh. Imtiaz’s family claims he suffered grievous injuries during interrogation. An impartial probe must be initiated to get to the bottom of the truth.”

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