Aali Kadal killings anniversary: 25 years on, justice eludes victims’ families

Despite passing of 25 years, the families of victims who fell to bullets of government forces at Aali Kadal in Downtown are still awaiting justice.
Aali Kadal killings anniversary: 25 years on, justice eludes victims’ families
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Despite passing of 25 years, the families of victims who fell to bullets of government forces at Aali Kadal in Downtown are still awaiting justice. 

According to human rights activists, 22 civilians were killed in forces firing at Aali Kadal and its adjoining areas Jamalata, Gurgari Mohalla, and Nawa Bazar on 19 November 1992.  

After inaction against the accused, a human right activist, Ahsan Untoo submitted a petition in State Human Rights Commission in 2002 seeking direction to police to furnish status report regarding the FIRs and status of investigation and report of the enquiry commission set up by the government into the killings of 22 civilians. 

Last year, police had filed a report to SHRC claiming only eight people—seven militants and a civilian were killed at Aali Kadal on 19 November 1992 one civilian and seven militants affiliated with Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)," police states in a report submitted before State Human Rights Commission.

"The enquiry into the matter has revealed that on 19 November, 1992 during cordon and search operation in the areas of Jamalata, Aali Kadal, Gurgari Mohalla and Nawa Bazar Srinagar, militants opened fire on security forces, and threw hand grenades. The fire was retaliated by forces and during encounter some people sustained injuries," the police report reveals. 

"In this connection, a case FIR no 256/ 1992 was registered in police station Maharaj Gung, and during investigation police visited the spot and recovered the body of one Fayaz Ahmad Pir and after completing all codal formalities the body was handed over to legal heirs for last right. During further course of investigation, police fished out the bodies of seven militants who got drowned in river Jhelum during the encounter. All these militants were affiliated with JKLF outfit. The investigation of the case was finally closed as untraced."

The petitioner in 2017 filed a rejoinder before the commission showing "dissatisfaction" with police investigation. 

"All the persons in the report have been labeled as militants which is not true. 22 persons were killed by the army while they were sailing in a boat, but no reply in this connection has been submitted by police" the petitioner states in his rejoinder.   

"The police is involved in the offence, therefore the report submitted by them cannot be relied upon," the petitioner stated seeking constitution of an independent team to investigate the matter.

Chairperson SHRC, (Retd) Justice, Bilal Nazki directed the investigation wing of the commission to record the statement of witnesses in the case within a month.

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