2016 Unrest: Not even one probe into killings completed

While 96 civilians were killed in security forces’ action post the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander BurhanWani, the Government ordered magisterial inquiries into only five such killings.

Not a single inquiry ordered into civilian killings in the five-month long unrest in Kashmir has been completed even as probes were ordered only in five such deaths.

While 96 civilians were killed in security forces’ action post the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander BurhanWani, the Government ordered magisterial inquiries into only five such killings.

However, till date not a single probe has been completed, raising questions on the Government’s seriousness to “know the truth” about these deaths and subsequently punish the forces involved in using disproportionate and unwarranted force on the protesters.

The PDP-BJP Government had promised strict action against forces if found using disproportionate force while dealing with protestors in Kashmir.

“If we receive evidence that disproportionate force was used by security force at any place, strict action will be taken against those personnel,” J&K Government spokesman NaeemAkther had repeatedly said.

Details gathered by this newspaper reveal that district magistrates, in a bid to calm the tempers, had ordered probes into five killings – three of Kulgam and one each of Srinagar and Kupwara districts.

However, the officers probing the killings told Greater Kashmir on Tuesday that they are yet to complete the task.

On July 18, three civilians including two women were killed in Army firing in Qazigund area of Kulgam district. Subsequently, the Deputy Commissioner ordered a probe into the killings. According to a government notification, Additional District Magistrate Ghulam Hassan Sheikh was appointed as the inquiry officer and was directed to submit report within 15 days.

However, the inquiry officer revealed that the probe is yet to begin, saying, “I could not undertake the exercise in the past four months due to volatile situation in Kashmir.”

“I had issued a notice asking people to depose but nobody turned up.  I could not hold the inquiry due to the prevailing situation in Kashmir,” he said. He said he will soon begin the inquiry.

Similarly, DC Srinagar and DC Kupwara respectively ordered probes into killing of Shabir Ahmad Mir at TenporaBatamaloo on July 10 and of Bilal Ahmad Denthoo on July 18 at KawariKupwara.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, who is probing the killing of Tengpora youth, said it will take him a few more days to complete the exercise.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner Handwara Peer Muzaffar said the inquiry is in final stage. The ADC was directed to probe the killing of Bilal Ahmad Denthoo, who, according to locals, was killed in cold-blood by police. The police had, however, blamed unidentified gunmen for the killing.