SHRC to investigate 1990 Gaw Kadal massacre

‘Report To Be Completed In 2-Months’

MUDDASIR ALI

Srinagar, Dec 26: In a significant development, the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday ordered an inquiry by its investigation wing into the 1990 Gaw Kadal massacre here in which 51 people were killed in firing allegedly by paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force.
 The investigation in the case which was closed by police as “untraced” in mid-nineties would be conducted by the Superintendent of Police of the Commission’s police investigation wing.
 “He will submit his report within two months,” said member SHRC Rafiq Fida.
 The order was passed by the Commission’s division bench comprising JA Kawoos and Fida on a petition filed by International Forum for Justice/Human Rights Forum. It has fixed February, 26, 2013 as next date of hearing of the case.
 Fida said the inquiry was ordered after officials from the state government failed to respond to the Commission’s notice for successive eight hearings to submit their report over the incident.
 “We had sought complete report from the Director General of Police, state Home Secretary and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar on the case but there was no response from their side,” Fida said.
 The SHRC had warned the respondents (state) that if they failed to come with their report the Commission would be forced to go for its own investigation. 
 “It will be an independent inquiry which will go into the details of the case,” Fida said.
 In Kashmir’s recent political history Gaw Kadal was the first massacre which took place after New Delhi had appointed Jagmohan as the Governor of J&K when valley would witness frequent and massive anti-India protests.
 Eyewitness and survivors of the massacre continue to allege that CRPF opened firing on thousands of peaceful protestors.
 Though the official figure put number of fatalities at 21, the human right groups say 50 persons were killed in the massacre.
 Following the incident the government had clamped curfew for many days to curb the ensued public anger.
 On the same day police registered an FIR 3/90 at Kral Khud Police Station under RPC 307, 148, 149, 188 and 153.
 However the police records mentioned that on January 21, an “unruly mob” raising anti-India and anti-forces slogans was heading towards Lal Chowk and the security forces tried to stop the crowd near Gaw Kadal. The crowd, the police records mention, instead of dispersing started pelting stones at government buildings and security force personnel and “tried to snatch weapons” from them.
 “The security personnel responded with firing resulting in some deaths and injury to some persons,” the records mention.
 For years human right groups have been demanding that the cases should be re-opened to provide justice to the families of the victims.
 “Not only was the case closed as untraced many of the injured and killed ones were shown as accused in the case,” said human right activist Khuram Parvez.
 He accused successive state governments of scuttling the investigation into the case.
 However Khuram says the SHRC decision would raise hope among families of the victims about reopening of the case.
“But we fear, like in the past, government will overrule the SHRC recommendations in this case too,” Khuram said.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 26 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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