SRINAGAR MAN’S DEATH IN 2002 | High Court orders IO’s appearance

 J&K High Court, Srinagar
J&K High Court, SrinagarMubashir Khan/GK File

Srinagar: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh Tuesday directed the Investigation Officer (IO) to remain present on September 8 in connection with a case regarding the death of a man allegedly in BSF custody here in 2002.

A bench of Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal sought the presence of the IO after the perusal of the government’s latest status report indicating that “the case is pending for want of attendance of the then Assistant Commandant of BSF, M K Rahul”.

As the petition filed by the wife of the deceased Ghulam Nabi Bhat came up for hearing, Additional Advocate General Asifa Padroo submitted the latest status report in compliance with the directions passed by the court on August 18.

“Perusal (of the status report) reveals that the investigation of the case is going on and will be concluded on its merits at the earliest,” the court said. “The reason spelled out in paragraph 4 for not concluding it as on date is that during investigation vide letter No 519/5A/14/LBZ dated April 15, 2014, SDPO Hazratbal has requested the concerned battalion through Inspector General of BSF, Sanatnagar Srinagar to inform and direct the then Assistant Commandant 48th Bn M K Rahul to attend Police Station Lal Bazaar for questioning and provide an original general diary of the battalion of June 2002 and injury memo and other medical records of the deceased Ghulam Nabi Bhat but he is not cooperating.”

The court said that the case as such was pending for want of attendance of the then Assistant Commandant M K Rahul.

The court directed the IO to remain present in the court on September 8, the next date of hearing along with the case diary.

In her plea, Bhat’s wife Raja alleges that her husband was arrested by BSF in 2002 and allegedly killed in custody.

The BSF authorities in their replies stated that the deceased died while attempting to escape from custody as he fell into a 50-feet deep nallah and sustained multiple injuries and breathed his last at SKIMS in July 2002.

State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in 2007 had directed the then J&K government to provide ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh to the wife of the deceased and also compassionate relief of any Class IV appointment for her survival.

Earlier, the commission had also directed for registration of an FIR which was subsequently lodged in 2008 at Police Station Lal Bazaar.

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