J&K Cops Will Be Interrogated

10 July 2009
Asian Age

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday announced that the four suspended police and forensic laboratory officials, including the then Shopian SP Javaid Iqbal Muttu, found culpable of destroying the evidence in the twin rape and murder case and laxity of duty by a judicial commission will be arrayed as accused and then interrogated by the special investigation team (SIT). Finance and law minister Abdur Rahim Rather while addressing a press conference along with J&K police chief Kuldeep Khoda and chief secretary S.S. Kapoor here said that apart from Mr Muttu, deputy SP Rohit Basgotra, SHO Shopian Shafiq Ahmed, sub-inspector Gazi Abdul Karim and Forensic Science Laboratory official Javed Hafiz who, the commission report says, did not only fail to discharge their duty but were also responsible for destroying the evidence which, the report says, was deliberate on their part will be arrayed as the accused in the FIR lodged at the local police station on June 6 and subsequently prosecuted. Asked why they have not been arrested, so far, the minister said the decision lies with the SIT. Mr Rather said that although conclusive evidence to identify the culprit, has not been furnished before the commission because of unfortunate obstructions caused by the local residents and a large section of society, encouraged by some dissenting elements, in the working of the commission, yet there is material on the file to hold, that the involvement of some agency of the J&K police, in the present incident, cannot be completely ruled out. He added that in pursuance of the findings and recommendations of the commission, the government has decided that the four police officials, already under suspension, are to be arrayed as accused in the June 6 FIR 'in so far as their role in the destruction, dissipation and suppression of evidence is concerned'. He said that a case will also be registered against Mr Muttu, the then SP, for giving false evidence before the commission. The SIT will conduct further investigations in the case in accordance with the law and in terms of the directions of the Jammu and Kashmir high court.