He was allegedly brutalised by representatives of the Muzaffarabad police after an incident at around 11.15 pm on Thursday night (28 March) and had been on a life support machine since.
Here's a Facebook link to the news as it broke from sources at the hospital:
Unfortunately, as I'm in a remote village I am unable to bring you the comprehensive report as wished, as yet. There has been a phenomenal amount of investigative work done by civil society, particularly in Muzaffarabad. I wish I could show you photo and video footage but I'm also without my toolkit, thus have limited functionality.
I haven't slept all night as I've been in almost constant interaction, both at home and abroad.
Here's a news summary by Shams Rehman for JKTV:
Waqar Turk death was an accident or murder?
Who are the people in CCTV with sticks/batons?
Is police involved in the death of Waqar?
28 years old Waqar Turk died at 9.25pm in CMH Muzaffarabad reportedly following a fall from a local building in Khawaja Bazar near Khalid Photo studio under highly suspicious conditions. According to some reports he was followed and tortured by police before the fall and police allegedly made him fall or even threw him down. While police claims that they never attended the place of the incident, the eyewitnesses report that police was seen chasing and beating Waqar on the roof after 11pm on Thursday 28th March.
Right now protests are taking place in the capital city of Pakistani-administered 'azad' Kashmir. The Deputy Commissioner has arrived and a demand has been put on him by the relatives and protestors to register FIR against the police, who people recorded approaching the site of accident on CCTV at the time of the incident.
Previously parents were assured by DSP Riaz Mughal that a thorough investigation would be carried out to reach to the bottom of the matter and bring any one responsible to the court of law.
End of Shams's summary.....
Shortly after, I forwarded the following update on various social media platforms:
Eye witness accounts corroborate CCTV evidence of alleged Muzaffarabad (City Thana) police involvement in brutality of now deceased Raja Waqar Turk. His post mortem also confirms torture marks before he allegedly 'fell' off a roof in the commercial hub of Khwaja Bazaar.
It should be pointed out in public interest, that I had explained in detail the proclivity towards violence of the current administration in AJK, a couple of months ago.
Day 31 of 2019
On the 7th of March last year I had also warned the administration (Tehsildar Mushtaq) of the likelihood of serious casualties if they tried to forcibly control public protests near the LOC in Poonch in future. This was a day after they had used strong-arm tactics to disperse a public rights agitation in Dwarandi, tehsil Hajeera. Barely a few kilometres from where Naeem Bhat was fatally shot 9 days later, on the 16th of March (2018).
They listen but don't act.
Our background research into Raja Waqar Turk's alleged police murder indicates that the public of Muzaffarabad has been increasingly incensed over the past few months, particular over the allegedly unlawful behaviour of Muzaffarabad police. Raiding people's houses without legal process and extorting benefits just like in Indian popular cinema, have almost become a norm. Two sub-inspectors, namely Zia ul Islam and Manzar Chugtai have become particularly notorious in the city for such aforementioned behaviour.
Muzafarabad(POK): Protest continues against killing of Raja Waqar under police custody. @UNHumanRights @UN_PGA @Europarl_EN @eu_eeas @AJEnglish @RT_com @ImranKhanPTI @PM_AJK @PIDAZADKASHMIR pic.twitter.com/C5lVOBpkXr— Human on Planet (@JK4JKpeoples) April 3, 2019
Jammu Kashmir TV in the UK has conducted a programme on this killing:
(Update) 2359hrs on 05/04/19 (Day 95):
Evidence in the case is being heavily tampered with:
(Update) 1500hrs on 10/04/19 (Day 100):
I have finally managed to slot in a detailed report on the alleged murder of Raja Waqar Turk by representatives of the Muzaffarabad police.
(Update) 2000hrs on 20/04/19 (Day 140):
This video involves a conversation with Raja Waqar Turk's family outside the Sessions Court in Muzaffarabad on the 11th of May. This was the 4th hearing in the case (Not the 3rd as described in the video):
In such a society that is legally and constitutionally a black hole for all intents and purposes, obtaining the correct information from sources at first instance is truly difficult:
- The initial age of the murdered Raja Waqar Turk was provided as 28. It wasn't until further investigation that his age was established as 32.
- The commentary in the video above described this as the 3rd hearing. However, during discussion it emerged that this was indeed the 4th hearing.
Our society has not been taught to give attention to detail and neither has it been taught to value investigation or research. This is a learning process and I hope our society can learn fast so that it can equip itself better to fight for justice, using peaceful means.
The difference between 'Might is Right' and 'Right is Might' is research and evidence. We have no doubts over what formula has been drilled into the people since 1947.