Fresh probe likely in killing of foreign tourists

CID Asked To Look Into All Aspects Of The Case


Srinagar, Apr 28: Police is likely to re-investigate the kidnapping and reported killing of four foreign tourists in south Kashmir after a gap of 17 years.
The re-investigation is said to be the fallout of disclosures in a book- “The Meadow: Kashmir 1995- Where The Terror Began”- about the tourists, and subsequent intervention by State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) into the matter.
In the book, investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark have said that the four westerners were killed by state-sponsored gunmen. Though the senior police officers are tight lipped over the probe, Greater Kashmir has learnt from reliable sources in police that re-investigation into the case is likely to be started.
The re-investigation, sources said, would be carried out by sleuths of Criminal Investigation Department (CID). They have been asked to look into all aspects of the case. “Disclosures in the book are somewhat worrying and after all things need to be investigated,” sources in the police told Greater Kashmir.
Four foreign tourists, John Childs and Don Hutchings of the US and Keith Mangan and Paul Wells of England, were kidnapped on July 4, 1995, during a trekking expedition in Pahalgam in Islamabad (Anantnag) district by the Al-Faran group.
Four days later, on July 8, two more foreigners — Dirk Hasert of Germany and Hans Christian Ostro of Norway — were kidnapped. Childs managed to escape on July 8 while Ostro was reportedly beheaded. The other four were never traced and are believed to have been killed.
After the disclosures in the book, an application was moved by International Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights on Kashmir before State Human Rights Commission for a comprehensive investigation into the kidnapping and the reported killings.
Taking cognizance, SHRC issued notices to the then Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, P S Gill and the then Senior Superintendent of Police Islamabad (Anantnag) Ashkoor Wani.
“There are allegations against the then IGP, Kashmir, P S Gill, and the then SP, Anantnag, Ashkoor Wani. The duo is directed to file a personal response in the matter,” the Division Bench of the SHRC said.
The Bench also asked the J&K police chief, the state crime branch and the Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, to furnish all reports about various investigations in the case before the Commission by May 28.
Dr B Srinivas, Inspector General of Police CID told Greater Kashmir, “I have no idea, Director General of Police knows better,” he said.
The response from SSP Anantnag, Ramesh Kumar Jalla, was no different. “No comments,” the SSP told Greater Kashmir.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST

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