Shopian Murder, Rape: SP, 3 Cops Held After HC Calls For Their Narco, DNA Test

16 July 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: The J-K government arrested four suspended police officials shortly after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered their arrest and narco-analysis in connection with the rape and murder of two women in Shopian in May. A bench of Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir also directed investigators to get blood samples of all the officers in the presence of the court registrar and match their DNA profiles with the semen found in the bodies of the deceased women. No relief, including bail, should be granted by any court to the officers, the court directed. The four policemen, including the then SP, Shopian, Javid Iqbal Mattoo and his deputy Rohit Baskotra, were suspended on June 22, a day after the one-man judicial commission headed by Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan submitted an interim report to the government. “We feel... the special investigation team (SIT) (should) undertake narcoanalysis test of those four officers. We request the Central government to impress upon the... Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhinagar, to give an early date to carry out the tests,” the court said. “...On arrest of these police officers, any bail application filed by them or on their behalf shall be transferred to this court. Or the bail application, if any, shall be directly filed in this court...The arrest of those officers followed by collection of their blood samples for the purpose of preparation of their DNA profile to match the same with the DNA profile of the vaginal semen of the deceased ladies would expedite the investigation.” Bodies of Asiya Jan, 17, and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jan, 22, were found near a stream in Shopian on May 29. The two women had gone to an orchard 3 km away. Protests have virtually shut down Shopian town since that day. The Jan commission recommended action against the officers, saying they had failed to follow procedure after the bodies were found. The court’s directions came after the head of the SIT, Farooq Ahmad, submitted a status report on the case through Advocate General Muhammad Ishaq Qadri. The report revealed that FIRs had been lodged against the suspended officers for their alleged role in the destruction of evidence. They had been interrogated but not arrested, it said. The report said human hair had been found from a vehicle connected with the rape-murder incidents. “The DNA profile of the hair found in the vehicle should be matched with Asiya’s DNA profile,” the court said.