Doodipora probe shelved

Srinagar, Oct 9: The enquiry Commission constituted by government to investigate the killing of four boys allegedly by troops in Doodipora village of Kupwara district on February 22, on Monday put on...

Srinagar, Oct 9: The enquiry Commission constituted by government to investigate the killing of four boys allegedly by troops in Doodipora village of Kupwara district on February 22, on Monday put on hold the probe citing government indifference.
"For want of staff and funds, it's not possible to go ahead with the enquiry. Accordingly, further proceedings are put on hold till the staff or funds are made available," said District and Sessions Judge, Syed T A Naqshbandi, who is heading the commission.
Aged between 8 and 18, the four boys, according to eyewitnesses, were killed allegedly by soldiers of Army's 33 Rashtriya Rifles when they were playing cricket in a field in Doodipora village of Handwara area. The Army denied it, and said militants were responsible for the killings. The killings sparked massive demonstrations across the Valley for many days, forcing the government to order a probe into it.
The Government vide order 3185-LD (A) of 2006 constituted the judicial enquiry into the incident. On September 27, the enquiry officer issued a notice HC-10/06/01 in local newspapers calling upon all concerned persons having knowledge about the incident to appear and furnish information on affidavits on October 9.
The villagers of Doodipora and parents of the slain boys responded to the public notice by appearing before the enquiry officer. They submitted statement of facts duly supported by affidavits.
The president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom also submitted the report about the incident duly supported by an affidavit.
Major J S Manhas, incharge legal cell of Army, submitted an application seeking three weeks extension for filing "statement of facts" after obtaining permission from Army headquarters, New Delhi.
The enquiry officer earlier probed the Wullar incident and submitted its report to the government. However, the staff, which the officer had during the probe of the Wullar incident, has been withdrawn and at the moment, the officer has no staff to assist him.
The enquiry officer has written two letters vide letter HC-10/06/11-12 on September 28, 2006 and HC/10/06/14-15 on October 5, 2006 asking for staff/funds but government has not responded to the letters prompting the enquiry officer to put the enquiry on hold.

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