A Jammu based Hindu youth was tortured to death by Kashmir police in the custody at the Munshi Bagh police station, the only fault of the deceased identified as Rajnish Sharma r/o Sarwal Jammu was that he dared to love and marry a Kashmiri Muslim girl Amina Yousuf.
Rajnish Sharma, 29, a Jammu resident, was picked up by the cops a few days ago after he married a Srinagar girl, Anchal Sharma alias Amina Yousuf, 25, who had converted to the boy’s faith and changed her name. Things went horribly wrong when Rajnish reportedly died under mysterious circumstances at the Munshi Bagh police station. The death of a youth in custody of the Srinagar police on October 6 night triggered violent protests by his family members and relatives.
To make matters worse, the police in an embarrassing goof up announced it had identified the youth who was arrested as Pawan Sharma, the deceased’s younger brother, adding the police papers sent for the postmortem examination were in his name. However, the deceased’s real identity came to light only when his family members saw his body.
Rajnish, whose business dealt in aluminum doors and windows, had married Amina in a Jammu court on August 21 and the same day the couple also tied the nuptial knot in a temple in Janipur here.
However, Pawan, who was missing since September 29, suddenly turned up at the morgue to take possession of his brother’s body, claimed the police deliberately used his (Pawan’s) name to eliminate his younger brother. “After marrying Anchal on August 21 Rajnish had come to my house in Rehari on August 29. He told me about stiff opposition to his interfaith marriage put up by Anchal’s family. On September 29 the police searched my house at around 1.30 am. Though I managed to give the cops a slip they arrested my brother”, said Pawan.
Anchal Sharma, alias Amina Yousuf, in her in-laws’ house, accused her parents of killing her husband and demanded that a murder case be lodged against them.
Breaking down, she said she not only lost her husband but also the baby inside her womb. “When the police raided my brother-in-law Pawan’s house in Rehari on September 29, I tried to escape in panic. But in the process stumbled and lost my baby,” she said.
“I changed my religion and married Rajnish out of my own choice. There was no pressure on me,” the 25-year-old girl said.
“We were in love for the past five years and, in fact, I forced Rajnish to marry me,” said a wailing Anchal sitting close to her husband’s body.
“We married before a Jammu court and solemnised our marriage at an Arya Samaj mandir on August 21. Since then we had been on the run to save our lives,” she added.
Anchal accused her father Mohammed Yousuf Mirazi and two brothers of hatching a conspiracy with the police to eliminate her husband.
“One of my brothers, a doctor, may flee to Australia. Arrest him before he leaves the country. My father had bribed the Kashmir police to kill my husband,” she said. She also refused to go back to her parental house in Srinagar and now wants to live with her in-laws.
Demanding justice a wailing Raj Kumari, Rajnish’s mother, said that her son was brutally murdered and could not have committed suicide.
Bajrang Dal (BD) national convenor, Parkash Sharma along with Nand Kishore Mishra, convenor state, and Sushil Sudhan, president Bharatiya Jan Sewa Niyas also visited the residence of Rajnish Sharma to express their sympathy with the bereaved family and assured all support to them on behalf of the Bajrang Dal.
While strongly condemning the killing of Rajnish in police custody at Srinagar he said his death was the result of a pre-planned conspiracy and demanded that the case be registered against the police officers, and parents of the girl. He expressed serious concern over the stoic silence which has been maintained by the activists of civil liberties, human rights activits and so-called secularists on the issue. Had the member of any other community been killed in this way, a hue and cry would have been made by these organisations all over, he added. He also criticised the State Government for delaying the action against the culprits.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) told that there is no example of such brutality in last 20 years of terrorism in J&K, the way innocent Jammu youth Rajnish Sharma was killed in Police custody recently in Srinagar.
He demanded that the police officers involved in this heinous crime be brought to book immediately. He said the assurance given by the authorities of taking action against the cops is only an eyewash as nothing has been done practically in this regard.
He, while criticising the police said its records still mention the youth who was killed as Pawan Sharma instead of his brother Rajnish Sharma. This is a grave negligence and irresponsibility on the part of Police Department.
Reiterating his demand of CBI inquiry in the matter, Dr Dubey said that the probe ordered by State Government is not acceptable to Jammuites. He warned in case of any delay in taking action against the guilty officers, the people will be forced to launch agitation
In its report, the Board of Doctors, which conducted second post-mortem on the body in Jammu, said, “The post-mortem report has confirmed multiple marks of torture and injuries all over the body of the youth. There were many other injuries on the body which are of multiple dissection that indicates torture”.
It said there were some severe marks of burns on the body which the doctors couldn’t conclude as to whether they were electric shocks or cigarette butts. For a firm opinion to establish electric torture marks or cigarette butts, the body cells of Rajnish Sharma have been sent to Pathology Department for further tests.
It may be recalled that the people had held massive protests in Sarwal against the killing of Rajnish Sharma in police custody. It was only after the Government announced compensation and jobs for the family that body of the youth was cremated after three days long protests.
It may be mentioned here that only two constables of Ram Munshi Bagh police station have been suspended while the SHO has just been attached to District Police Lines (DPL) in a cover up by Srinagar Police to shield the accused.