The J&K High Court Bar Association on Monday said it has decided to request the Chief Justice and his Companion Judges in Jammu and Kashmir to take suo-moto cognizance of contradictory reports about killing of five militants by Army at Chak Dragmulla in north Kashmir's Kupwara district. The HCBA intervention comes day after residents of Chak Dragmulla contested the army version about the killing of militants, alleging that the slain gunmen were killed in a fake encounter.
"In view of the contradictory reports about the killing of five militants by the Army, at Chak Dragmulla, Kupwara, J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar, has decided to request Chief Justice and his Companion Judges of the High Court at J&K, who are custodians of the life and liberty of the people, to take suo-moto cognizance of the matter and entrust the investigation of the case, to a high-level, well reputed impartial investigating agency to find out how and under what circumstances the aforesaid five militants were killed," a spokesman of the HCBA said in a statement.
The Bar Association said it feels that when the entire population of the area maintains that the encounter was fake and staged one and that after handing over of the bodies to them, they found from the faces of five militants that they had been killed five to six days before and had brought to the village to show that they were killed in an encounter, "it becomes duty of the High Court, which is supposed to be the watchdog of the legal, fundamental and constitutional rights of the people and their fundamental freedoms to show more sensitivity toward the issue and adopt a realistic and people-friendly approach in finding out the truth, so that the rule of law prevails and the guilty don't escape the clutches of law or go unpunished."
The HCBA also condemned the statement of Minister for Forests, Choudhary Lal Singh, in which he has reportedly threatened Jammu Muslims of "repeat of 1947 massacre". It called the minister's statement as "a sign of his mental bankruptcy."
"The Bar Association wants it to be known to Lal Singh that killing of about half a million innocent Muslims in a ruthless manner at Satrwari, Samba and other places, on the pretext of taking them to Pakistan, is not something of which he should be proud of. It is a blot on the communal forces of Jammu and he, besides being ashamed of the same, should have made mends in his behavior and assured all possible help to the Jammu Muslims who had gone to meet him at his residence, rather than rebuking and threatening them of repeat of 1947," the spokesman said.
The Bar Association "feels that Lal Singh, having forfeited his right to represent any segment of the Jammu society, should be immediately sacked, so that people like him, when in power, do not injure the sentiments of the people of other faiths", the spokesman said.
"The SHO Police Station Gandhi Nagar who has termed this threatening of little significance also deserves to be removed from his office and the incumbent posted in his place deserves to be directed to investigate the FIR lodged against Lal Singh, strictly in accordance with law, without getting influenced or overawed, by any means whatsoever," the Bar spokesman said.