NC Man Dies In Custody

NC Man Dies In Custody

30 September 2011
Greater Kashmir
Moazum Muhammad

Srinagar: A senior political worker of ruling National Conference died under mysterious circumstances after being allegedly called by the Minister of State for Home, Nasir Aslam Wani to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s residence here Thursday to sort out an issue pertaining to money transaction. Family of the deceased alleged that NC activist Syed Muhammad Yousuf of Loktipora, Bijbehara presently residing at New Colony Kadlabal Pampore was killed in custody after being subjected to severe torture. One of the doctors at Police Control Room who performed autopsy on Yousuf confirmed torture marks on his face and neck. Yousuf’s son Syed Talib told Greater Kashmir that on Thursday afternoon, the MoS Home Nasir Aslam Wani telephoned his father to come to his residence. “My father received a call from Wani (home minister) at around 3 pm on Thursday. He was asked to meet the home minister. A Tavera vehicle sent for my father by Nasir Aslam around the same time carried him to the minister’s residence,” he said. Talib said he contacted his father late in the afternoon. “My father called me around 5PM saying he was at Nasir Sahib’s residence. At around 5:45 pm my nephew again rang my father,” Talib told GK at Police Hospital in Batamaloo, waiting for handing over of his father’s body. “I too talked to my grandfather (Yousuf) on the phone and I could make it out that there was some argument going on at the other side of the line. Then suddenly the line got disconnected,” said Yousuf’s grandson Syed Wasiq. Talib said they could not contact his father afterwards as his mobile was continuously switched off. “We got apprehensive about his safety and rushed to SSP Srinagar who told us that my father is in the custody of Crime branch. When we contacted Crime Branch they feigned ignorance about him in the first instance. But then they said he vomited around 8 PM and was shifted to the hospital,” Yousuf’s family said. Talib revealed that Wani and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would call his father even during late in the night and talk with him at length on different issues. “Nasir Aslam rose to the portfolio of Home Minister due to my father. My father was close to the Chief Minister as well as (National Conference president) Farooq Abdullah. Both used to talk to my father on phone for late hours,” Talib said. “We aren’t sure whether Chief Minster was present there or not. All we know is that there was a heated argument in the meeting and he (Yousuf) hadn’t budged from his stand over some issue. Even when his condition had deteriorated, those who were present in the meeting had said he is resorting to histrionics following which IG Crime was called to take him in his custody,” the deceased’s brother Sayeed Muhammad Hussain told Greater Kashmir. According to sources, three persons including Yousuf, and two more NC activists Muhammad Yousuf of Ganderbal and Abdul Salam Reshi of Kokernag were allegedly called to CM’s residence on Thursday. They said that matter was allegedly about money which Yousuf of Ganderbal and Salam Reshi had given to the deceased to get them a berth in Legislative Council. “We were called to CM’s residence at around 3:30 PM. The meeting started at around 4:30 PM and lasted till 6 PM. The meeting was attended by Omar Abdullah and Minister of Home Nasir Aslam Wani,” Salam Reshi told Greater Kashmir. He said that during the meeting Inspector General of Crime Branch was also called. “Security officer of the Chief Minister, Shabir Ahmad and IG Crime took Sayeed Muhammad Yousuf to another room at CM’s residence. For around 40 minutes he (Yousuf) remained there with the duo. When he was brought out of the room, he didn’t talk,” Reshi said. He said at around 6 PM, they (Sayeed Yousuf, Yousuf Bhat and Salam Reshi) were whisked away in a vehicle to the crime branch headquarters where they were lodged separately in three rooms. “Sayeed Muhammad Yousuf went to bathroom in the crime branch. When he came out, he fell down. He didn’t talk even that time as his health condition worsened,” Reshi said adding “till 12 AM two of us (Yousuf Bhat and Salam Reshi) were questioned by IG crime.” “We didn’t know anything about him (Sayeed Yousuf). In the morning we were told by Crime Branch officials to leave. Afterwards we came to know about Sayeed Yousuf’s death,” Reshi said adding that SSP Crime Branch and all other officials were also present at CM’s residence. Commenting over the issue, Nasir Wani denied that the deceased died at his residence saying ‘he was at the camp office of Chief Minister and not at my residence’. “He (Yousuf) was not at my residence. He was at Honourable Chief Minister’s camp office and died in police hospital. We have requested for a probe,” Wani told Greater Kashmir.


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