The family of the National Conference party worker who died allegedly in police custody on September 30 has now said he was tortured at the residence of Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah.
The post-mortem report, however, said Yusuf died of cardio-respiratory failure and that there were no external injuries on his body.
Deceased party worker Syed Mohammad Yusuf’s son Syed Talib told HT the torture marks had been captured on camera during the funeral. “It seemed as if somebody had repeatedly punched him in the face,” he said.
On why he didn’t release the photos, earlier, Talib said, “One of my friends had taken the pictures, I wasn’t sure how prominent the bruises were. He mailed the photos yesterday and my cousin showed me the prints. That is why I have released them today.”
He added, “When I confronted IGP (crime) Raja Ajaz Ali, he told me nothing happened in his office and whatever happened took place at the CM’s camp office (in Omar’s residence).”
Ali, who according to eyewitness Abdul Salam Rishi was present at Omar’s residence, denied this. “The family is attributing false statements to me,” he said. In his earlier statements, however, Ali had said an “unwell” Yusuf was taken to the crime branch headquarters and that a doctor was called in.
Rishi, one of the NC workers who had gone to the CM’s house with Yusuf, has alleged that Yusuf was taken to a room at the CM’s residence for nearly half an hour, after which he came out “visibly unwell”.
Yusuf, 61, allegedly died in police custody after Rishi and another party worker accused him of taking a bribe of Rs 1.18 crore from them on the promise of getting them berths in the legislative council and ministry. Yusuf reportedly reneged on his promise, setting off the controversy.
Rishi has also said that Yusuf told the CM the money had been paid to his father and party president Farooq Abdullah.
However, the other NC worker, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat, on Friday denied any payoff was made either to the CM or his father.
Yusuf’s family now wants the government to release CCTV footage of the CM’s camp office.
Opposition PDP spokesperson Nayeem Akhtar said, “We have seen the magnified images. There is an avalanche of evidence. But in Kashmir, there are different laws for different people.”
Omar told a news channel “nobody even touched Yusuf with a finger” while at his residence. He said Yusuf died of a heart attack 12 hours after visiting him at home.