Shopian Murder: Victims’ Kin Yet To Depose Before Probe Panel

16 June 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: South Kashmir’s Shopian town remained shut for the 18th consecutive day on Tuesday even as no relative of the two women, whose bodies were found here, appeared before the judicial inquiry probing the incident. The inquiry being conducted by retired justice Muzaffar Jan has so far questioned a number of police and civil officials, including doctors who conducted the post-mortem. The one-man judicial commission was appointed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah over the mysterious death of Nelofar (22) and her sister-in-law Asiya (17), which triggered massive protests and unrest in the Valley. “Though a few relatives of the two victims had submitted affidavits for deposing before the commission, so far none has come forward,” secretary to the judicial commission Mukthar Ahmed said. “We hope they will appear before the commission so that it helps us to bring out the truth.” The secretary said no local had deposed before the inquiry commission so far after it started the probe on June 8. “Many locals are ready to appear before the commission, but the continuous strike and protests are preventing them from coming forward,” he said. The commission on Tuesday questioned Station House Officer, Shopian, Shafeeq Ahmed and Assistant Sub Inspector Abdul Kareem. The SHO was summoned for the second time by the commission. Sources said a few officials, including doctors, were supposed to appear before the commission on Tuesday but could not reach Shopian because of the strike. Meanwhile, Communist leader and legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Tuesday asked the Government to talk to the Majlis-i-Mushavrat (coordination committee spearheading the agitation in Shopian) to remove apprehensions of the people vis-à-vis the probe into the alleged rape-and-murder incident.