CoI ASSURES SECURITY TO WITNESSES
Announces Dates, Places For Deposition
ARIF SHAFI WANI
Srinagar, Sept 1: The Commission of Inquiry, constituted to probe the killings of 17 out of 65 civilians since June 11 by police and paramilitary troopers, Wednesday issued a public notice to enlist witnesses and record their statements.
The notice was issued following finalization of modalities during a meeting today between the Commission’s head, Justice (Retd) Syed Bashir-ud-Din and its member, Justice (Retd) YP Nargotra.
The Commission has called upon the groups of persons, individuals, institutions and associations having knowledge directly or indirectly of facts and circumstances related to the incidents to furnish statements in the form of affidavits sworn before any court or magistrate.
The Commission has assured full protection to the persons who wish to make their statements regarding the incidents and maintained that legal action will be initiated against those who furnish false information to it. The Commission has also bifurcated the cases of Srinagar, Islamabad and Varmul districts and fixed separate dates and places for the sittings.
The terms of reference of the Commission include to enquire into the circumstances leading to deaths by firing or otherwise into the 17 incidents, fixing responsibility wherever excessive force has been used resulting in fatalities, suggest measures to avert the recurrence of such incidents in future, recommend the action to be taken against the person(s) or authorities found responsible in any such incident.
“Full protection will be extended to all persons appearing before the Commission. Be it noted that the proceedings before the Commission are judicial under sub-section (6) of section 5 of the Jammu and Kashmir Commission of Inquiry Act 1962. No statement, deposition or evidence should be submitted, which is not true and correct, to avoid attraction of section 193 RPC read with section 228 of RPC,” states the notice issued by the secretary to the Commission, Tariq Ahmad Banday.
Sources said the Commission will soon direct the police to provide the details of cops and troopers posted at the spot of the killings on the fateful days. It will also seek information about the FIRs into the cases and status of investigation.
The Commission will start the probe from the killing of 17-year old Tufail Ahmad Matoo of Saida Kadal who was killed when hit by a teargas canister fired by police at Rajouri Kadal on June 11.
It will be followed by investigation into the death of Muhammad Rafique Bangroo, 24, a shawl weaver of Dana Mazar who was ruthlessly beaten by the troopers while dispersing a group of youth protesting over Tufail’s killing. Rafiq battled for life for a week and succumbed to his injuries on June 19. As Bangroo’s body was yet to be laid to rest, the troopers killed his close relative, 17-year old Javid Ahmad Malla.
Five days later, the apple town witnessed a bloodbath. Two youth, Shakeel Ahmad Ganai, 24, and Firdous Ahmad Kakroo, 20, were killed when CRPF troopers fired upon a procession demanding bodies of two militants killed in an encounter.
On June 27, the troopers shot dead another youth, Bilal Ahmad Wani who was watching the protests against the killings of Shakeel and Firdous. Killings had no respite in north Kashmir as two more persons including a nine-year old boy were killed by troopers on June 28. The boy, Tauqeer Ahmad, was fired upon by troopers at Delina causing his death on the spot.
Death again revisited apple town Sopur as troopers shot dead Tajamul Bashir Bhat on June 28. As the Valley was still mourning over the killings, three more persons— Ishtiyaq Ahmad Khanday, Shujaat-ul-Islam and Imtiaz Ahmad Yatoo— fell to police bullets in Islamabad district on June 29.
On July 6, three youth, Fayaz Ahmad Wani, Muzaffar Ahmad Bhat and Abrar Ahmad and a girl Fancy were killed in indiscriminate firing by police and troopers at Batamaloo and Maisuma. The incident was followed by killing of Faizan Ahmad Behroo and Fayaz Ahmad Khanday in firing on peaceful protesters in Varmul on July 19.
Justice Bashir-ud-Din, who is also the Chairman of State Human Rights Commission, in a recent interview told Greater Kashmir that the probe will be meaningful, transparent and fair. “Our report will be based on statements of witnesses, circumstantial and scientific evidences. But it is mandatory that people who have direct and indirect information regarding the killings should cooperate and help us to lead towards the truth,” he stated.
The setting up of an independent Commission of Inquiry was recommended by the All Party Meeting called by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in July.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Sep 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Sep 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Sep 2010 00:00:00 IST
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