In a LPA filed by the Home Secretary and DGP against the judgment of writ court, a Division Bench (DB) of State High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi today dismissed the appeal and directed State to pay Rs 4 lacs as compensation to each the petitioners whose family persons died due to firing by the BSF in 1993.
The contention made before the Single Judge was that an incident which took place on 22.10.1993 at Bijbehara, about 32 persons were killed and several others got injured.
Information was lodged in the Police Station Bijbehara on the same date stating that after Friday prayers, about 2000 to 3000 persons who had assembled near Jamia Masjid, Bijbehara, launched a peaceful protest against the siege of Hazratbal Shrine.
They raised slogans and went towards National Highway, and when they reached near Goriwan on the National Highway, BSF personnel from 47th Bn., who were on duty, fired upon them due to which civilians got killed and injured.
FIR No.90/1993 was accordingly, registered under Section 302 & 307 RPC and the investigation commenced. In the incident following 31 persons got killed.
The state government ordered magisterial inquiry and inquiry report in the matter was submitted. In the reply filed by Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Province, it is stated that BSF personnel were found involved in the case and sanction for their prosecution was sought.
The Deputy Inspector General, BSF, in its counter affidavit, had narrated the circumstances under which the incident took place.
The state government sanctioned an ex-gratia relief of Rs.01 lakh in favour of next of the kin of the in 1993. The magisterial inquiry report, which was submitted to the state government on 13.11.1993, recommended dismissal of accused persons who committed the killings followed with initiation of criminal proceedings.
Eleven 11 security personnel who were allegedly involved in the incident were also identified. The said magisterial inquiry report was not disputed by the BSF or the police authorities. The accusations were found against the BSF personnel in the inquiry report submitted by the Magistrate and a finding was rendered stating that the firing was carried out without any provocation.
Single Judge has considered the compensation claim of the petitioners in light of the judgments of the Supreme Court and ordered the state government to pay a sum of Rs.04 lakhs to each petitioner for the loss of life of their close relatives/ dependants who have been killed in the incident.
The state government ordered magisterial inquiry, and in the inquiry report, adverse inference was drawn against the BSF personnel and based on it, the state government also sought for sanction to prosecute the BSF personnel.
A criminal case was also registered and the same is in progress. Thus, the fact about the killing of 31 persons is not disputed. The state government has also paid a sum of Rs.01 lakh each to the kin of the deceased persons as ex-gratia relief.
The petitioners had prayed for payment of Rs.50 lakhs to each of the petitioners being the legal heirs of the deceased persons. JNF