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Rizwan Asad Pandit, a teacher from Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, died in NIA custody on Tuesday after he was held in connection with a terror case.

Pandit, who was a teacher at a private school, was picked up by the security agencies three days ago in connection with a terror case, the officer said.

Following his death, a probe has been initiated in the matter. National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah also demanded a time-bound investigation.

“I had hoped custodial deaths were a thing of our dark past. This is an unacceptable development & must be investigated in a transparent, time-bound manner. Exemplary punishment must be handed out to the killers of this young man,” Abdullah tweeted.

Reacting to the incident, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Innocent men hauled up from their homes for interrogation return home only in coffins now. GoI’s repressive approach leaves young educated men vulnerable who are forced to take up arms. Stop using Kashmir to exhibit your sick chauvinistic nationalism. We have suffered enough.”

Following the death of the youth, authorities of Islamic University Awantipora have closed the varsity for the precautionary measures.

The police department has requested a magisterial inquiry under Section 176 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to ascertain the cause and circumstances leading to Pandit’s death, the officer said, adding that further details were awaited.

(Inputs from media reports)

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