DNA Case Lands Mufti Govt In Trouble
16 August 2003
The Times of India
New Delhi: The recommendation of Mufti Sayeed government for termination of a senior police official in the DNA fudging case got into troubled waters as findings of the one-man enquiry commission have been disputed by another government department. The suspended police official, who has been awarded President's police medal for gallantary, is contemplating challenging the decision. The state government last month terminated the service of an assistant sub- inspector while recommending to the Centre termination of the services of Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Farooq Khan, possibly the highest decorated cop in the state, for allegedly fudging the DNA test samples of the kins of five persons killed in Pathribal. The five persons were labelled as foreign militants, who had indulged in killing of 35 Sikhs in Chittisinghpura on the eve of the visit of then US President Bill Clinton to India. Khan has denied any involvement in the DNA fudging case and questioned the findings of the Commission. 'According to the Sections 10-B and 10-C of the Commission of Inquiry Act, I have the right to cross-examine the witnesses, which was not done in the case,' Khan said while making it clear that he was going to challenge it as the State Government had left him with no other 'option.' After appointing a retired judge of High Court, G A Kuchai, as the one-man commission, its findings were sent to the General Administrative Department (GAD) for comments prior to putting these before the state cabinet Principal Secretary to GAD N R Gupta expressed the view that the inference drawn from the findings of the Commission was that the 'blood samples have been fudged with the malafides. However, the Commission has not been able to pin point responsibility on a particular individual or group of individuals.' 'On the basis of presumption, connivance of Farooq Khan, the then SSP Annantnag, does not seem conclusive and cogent moreso,' it said while recommending the case be transferred to the CBI so that the 'guilty do not escape the stringent criminal liability.' Incidentally, the 38-page report of Commission, has noted about the role of the senior cop that '... Farooq Khan, then SSP, might have managed behind the scene that blood samples collected turn fake by indirect methods.' 'If I am a culprit, may I ask the competent authorities as to why they were unable to find my accomplice in Anantnag who did fudging on my behalf,' Khan said. He had been transferred out of Anantnag and was under suspension when the samples for DNA test were being taken. The state cabinet which met to discuss the recommendation of a sub- committee comprising Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, Ministers Muzzafar Hussain Beig and Taj Mohi-ud-din, recommended to the Centre termination of Khan's services, ignoring the views expressed by the GAD. The sub-committee also chose to ignore the fact about the inability of the Commission to question the Army unit which had killed the five people. 'I think, they were trying to look for a scape goat and they found one in me,' said Khan, who is the first Muslim officer who took a daredevil step in forming Special Task Force in mid 90s when the state police was maintaining a low profile. Khan, who was chosen for police medal for gallantry, is also a recipient of President's police medal for meritorious service. He rose from the rank of deputy superintendent of police to SSP and was promoted to prestigious IPS cadre.