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HCBA PIL on Shopian case: HC issues notice to J&K, centre for objections
KT NEWS SERVICE
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SRINAGAR, Nov 26: The High Court today issued notices to state government and Union of India (UoI) to file objections within two weeks in four applications filed by the family of two women who were allegedly raped and then murdered in Shopian three years ago.

According to advocate G N Shaheen, the counsel for the families of Asiya and Neelofar Jan the two women who were found dead in May 2009 at Rambiaraha Nallah in Shopian, the Court issued notices asking the state government and UoI to file objections in his four applications submitted before it today.

“I submitted four applications praying that Justice Jan Commission report, report of investigations conducted by Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Police and police station Shopian, CBI chargesheet and findings of its investigation be placed on record before the High Court. In the fourth application we have said that in light of three reports sought through three applications, the petitioner was sure that CBI has conducted investigation in a wrong direction and the case be re-investigated through some impartial and independent agency appointed by the High Court,” advocate Shaheen informed Kashmir Times.

It may be recalled that two women Asiya and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jan were allegedly abducted, raped and later murdered brutally in the intervening night of May 29-30, 2009. Their bodies were recovered from a Rambiarah Nallah in Shopian district in South Kashmir.

The bereaved families later alleged involvement of the security forces in the incident while as CBI which probed the matter after it was handed over to it by the state government concluded its investigations saying the two women died due to drowning.

On September 30, 2009 the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) which had filed a Public Interests Litigation (PIL) in the matter dissociated itself from the case. Mian Abdul Qayoom, the then president HCBA, while refereeing to media reports on Shopian case had pleaded that Bar has lost its trust over the investigations conducted by the CBI. Qayoom had termed handing over the investigation to CBI a “cover up”. Since the HCBA dissociated itself from the proceedings in its PIL in the matter, the family of victims continued to pursue the matter and appointed G N Shaheen as their counsel.

“We want to seek court directions for re-investigation of the Shopian rape and murder case through some independent investigating agency on the pattern of various other cases wherein the honourable Supreme Court has set up committees to probe the crimes,” said Shaheen, the former general secretary of HCBA.

During the last hearing that took place in last month, Anil Bhan, the counsel for CBI had submitted before the division bench that since the CBI has conducted the investigations into the incident and charge sheet stands already filed before the trial court, there was no scope of further investigations into the matter.

However, Shaheen had submitted that CBI had filed charge sheet against the witnesses in the case for the offence of perjury while the ‘culprits’ have not been booked by the CBI. “Our plea is that the three reports submitted by CBI, Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police and Justice Jan Commission are contradictory in their contents so the case should be investigated by some independent investigating agency,” Shaheen had told Kashmir Times.

It may be recalled that Kashmir had witnessed violent protests against the incident, with protesters accusing CRPF personnel of raping and murdering the two women. The protests were followed by the strike call by the separatist leaders. The residents of Shopian commenced indefinite sit-in. They would assemble at the Main Chowk in Shopian to protest against government inaction, demanding immediate punishment of culprits.

Amidst public outcry, the state government, on June 3, 2009, appointed a commission headed by Justice Muzaffar Ahmad Jan to investigate the case. The panel submitted a 400-page report to the government, in which it called for more investigation into the role of security forces personnel, but suggested that the killings were most likely the result of a family feud that was misrepresented by the media.

On August 12, 2009, the state Government decided to hand over the case to the CBI. After completing investigations in the mater the CBI had described the death of two women as “accidental drowning” and charge sheeted 13 persons including five lawyers, six doctors and two civilians (witnesses) accused of fabricating the evidence and retracting from their statements.

On December 10, 2009 the CBI had presented charge sheet against these 13 persons before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar. The charge sheet said that two women, Asiya and Neelofar have neither been raped nor murdered.


News Updated at : Monday, November 26, 2012
 
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