Panel probing civilian killings seeks another extension
Srinagar: The judicial commission probing
the 17 civilian killings during last year`s summer unrest in
Kashmir valley has sought a fresh two-month extension from the
state government to complete its investigation.
The two-member commission has sought the extension as its
probe has been stalled after CRPF filed a writ petition in the
High Court earlier this month, seeking orders to quash the
notification under which the inquiry was ordered into the 17
deaths, officials said.
The panel headed by Justice (retd) Syed Bashiruddin
Ahmad, who is also the chairman of SHRC, has sent the request
to the law department, they said.
The Law department is processing the request and an
extension is likely to be granted, they said.
Appointed on July 27, the Commission was initially given
three months to complete the probe but deteriorating law and
order situation forced two extensions.
"The probe (into the killings) had reached an advanced
staged but is now held up due to the pending writ petition
filed by CRPF in JK High Court," Justice Ahmad said.
After the CRPF filed the writ petition, the High Court
directed the inquiry commission not to submit the final report
without its permission.
"The petitioner has lost faith in the commission of
inquiry, particularly in the chairman, and in case the said
commission is allowed to proceed with the inquiry, it is sure
to indict the law abiding and innocent CRPF troop," the
petition filed by the CRPF said.
The petitioner had annexed photocopies of some news
reports and pleaded that they have reasonable apprehension
that Justice Ahmad has a "biased and prejudiced mind and hence
a fair impartial enquiry cannot be expected from him."
As per the annexed reports, Ahmad on July 30 had said,
"Our report will be based on statements of witnesses,
circumstantial evidences. But it is mandatory that people who
have direct and indirect information regarding the killings
should cooperate and help us to lead towards the truth."
The court had asked the panel to provide copies of the
statements and the material on the basis of which notices have
been issued to the CRPF within a period of two weeks and
proceed in the matter only after the material is provided to
However, sources in the commission said the CRPF has not
been provided the copies of the evidence so far.
The CRPF moved the High Court after the police reports on
the incidents of killings under probe had absolved the state
police personnel of any wrongdoing, thereby pointing fingers
at paramilitary personnel in some cases.
The terms of reference of the Commission include inquiry
into circumstances leading to deaths by firing or otherwise
into the 17 incidents, fixing responsibility wherever
excessive force was used resulting in fatalities, suggest
measures to stop such incidents in future and recommend
punishment to those found guilty.
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