1994 Kupwara killings: Police indicts Army

‘Non-Cooperation By Army Obstructed Further Investigations Into Massacre’

SHABIR IBN YUSUF

Srinagar, Nov 20: Jammu and Kashmir Police have held Army responsible for the killing of 27 civilians in frontier district of Kupwara in 1994.
 This was disclosed in a communication sent by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to Defence Ministry. “Non-cooperation by Army has obstructed further investigations into the massacre,” the communication adds.
 In response to a notice from the J&K State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), the MHA has sent a communication to the Ministry of Defence, quoting a report of the Director General of Police (DGP) (J&K) which has observed that Army personnel were responsible for the civilian killings.
 “In spite of repeated efforts, including a notice from Court of Judicial Magistrate Kupwara, the concerned Army unit (ASC 31 Medical Regiment) has not cooperated with the investigating agency,” reads the MHA letter. “Non-cooperation by Army has jeopardized further investigations of the case.”
 MHA has requested the Defence Ministry that this matter “may please be taken up with concerned Army authorities on priority” for extending full cooperation and also for furnishing nominal role of officers, soldiers, who were on Road Opening Party (ROP) duty in Kupwara town on January 27, 1994. It has also requested SHRC for granting extension of time for submission of required details.
 In response to a petition at the SHRC about the case, the DGP has said that the army refused to cooperate again when the case was revived in 2004.
 Filed on May 11 this year, the DGP’s reply states that (police) investigations had clearly indicted army for “unprovoked firing with criminal intent” and found servicemen “directly responsible” for the killings in Kupwara town.
 Police investigations under Section 302, 307 and 149 of the RPC which begun soon after the killings had also found that second lieutenant S Bakhshi had been commanding the unit then.
 The petition was brought before the SHRC this February by human rights activists Muhammad Ahsan Untoo and Abdul Rauf Khan.
 “The police had written to army authorities to furnish the names of the personnel deployed in the area,” the DGP has stated. “Repeated requests to the army yielded nothing except a letter in the beginning that a court of inquiry had been instituted over the incident. But no details of the army inquiry were communicated to the police.”
 “When army authorities gave no cooperation, the police closed the investigation on April 10, 1997,” it states. “Investigations were revived in June 2004 under the then additional superintendent of police for the district, but the army again refused to cooperate.”
 The DGP states that army had also ignored orders issued by a Kupwara court under section 94 of the CrPC.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 21 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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