Man Dies in Custody in J&K’s Handwara, Cops Say He Hanged Himself

“Due to communication lockdown, several of his relatives couldn’t come. There was a small protest,” a local said.

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On the evening of Thursday, 5 September, a man who was detained by Jammu and Kashmir police was found dead in the police lockup, The Quint has learnt.

The man has been identified as Reyaz Ahmad Thekri, son of Salam U Din Thekri, from Qalamabad in Handwara district.

According to the police, he was involved in case FIR No. 57/2018 and charged under Sections 379 (Theft), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), and 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt). He was arrested and taken to Qalamabad Police Station in Handwara on Wednesday.

The police says he was lodged with another accused in the police station and was found dead in the toilet attached to the lockup. The preliminary investigation suggests that the accused hanged himself.

The police added that, “Since the death took place while the accused was in police custody, a magisterial enquiry under Section 176 of the CrPC is being conducted. Besides that, a post-mortem by a team of doctors was conducted.”

A local journalist also tweeted details of the arrest.

The police said the body was handed over to the family.

A local, who did not want to be named, told The Quint,

“The body was buried soon after being handed over to the family, apparently under police pressure. Due to the communication lockdown, several of his relatives could not come out. Some locals did say there was a small protest as well.”

SSP Handwara, Ashish Kumar Mishra, and SSP Security Imtiyaz Hussain have both confirmed the death on being approached by The Quint.

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