'Political Persons Helped CBI Win Over Witnesses'

15 December 2009
Greater Kashmir

Shopian: The Shopian Bar Association Tuesday said it would soon expose the persons who helped the Central Bureau of Investigation to “win over the eyewitnesses” in Asiya and Neelofar’s case. “Some people from Shopian having political affiliations were used by the CBI to win over the witnesses. We know them and will expose them soon,” the Secretary Bar Association, S M Iqbal told a news conference here. Rejecting the CBI report, Iqbal said, “It is politically motivated wherein a concocted story has been put forward to vindicate the statement of the Chief Minister that the death occurred due to drowning. The CBI had come here to give proper shape to the already framed story.” Iqbal said the track record of CBI in Kashmir itself speaks volumes about it. “The CBI for the first time was appointed to conduct an inquiry into the Holy Relic case in ’60s but mystery still shrouds it. Then the two other cases, Pathribal and the infamous sex scam met the same fate and now by hushing up the Shopian double rape and murder case the agency has added insult to the injuries of Kashmiris,” said Iqbal, adding that December 14 would be remembered as a black day in the history of Kashmir. “Other than the two witnesses who had made the statement before Chief Judicial Magistrate there were 10 more witnesses who were ready to come forward initially but when they saw the fate of the two witnesses they back-tracked,” Iqbal claimed. Referring to the CBI’s charge of lawyers “creating evidence,” Iqbal said, “The two witnesses had given the same statement before Justice Jan Commission and Special Investigating Team of Police (SIT). The SIT got their statement recorded before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) and lawyers had no role to play in it. The CJM recorded statements of the witnesses after being convinced that they were not under pressure from any side.” “It is ridiculous that despite all the facts CBI has accused lawyers of pressurizing and harassing the witnesses,” he added. Iqbal said that both the teams of doctors from Pulwama and Shopian after examining the bodies of Asiya and Neelofar had ruled out death by drowning as there was a visible injury mark on the fore head of Asiya as mentioned in the fact-finding report of Justice Jan Commission. “Even the credibility of the doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who conducted the autopsy after exhumation of the bodies is doubtful,” said Iqbal. He said that even the Justice Jan and SIT had ruled out death due to drowning. Accusing CBI of hoodwinking Shakeel Ahmad, brother of Asiya and husband of Neelofar, he said, “He was convinced by the CBI to give his nod for exhumation. Bodies were exhumed to give a final shape to the already concocted story. Furthermore the CBI had assured the family members of the victims that it will conduct the narco-analysis test of the police officers accused of destroying the evidence. However, the agency failed to keep up its promise,” Iqbal said. Terming filing of charge-sheet by CBI against lawyers, doctors and others as “pressure tactics,” Iqbal said, “We will challenge it in the court.” Iqbal said that they would fight for the case come what may. “We won’t succumb under pressure and will fight the legal battle and for that we have the support of the people and the civil society,” said Iqbal. He questioned the wisdom of CBI saying, “If the lawyers and doctors were accused for creating false evidences why was then Justice Jan, who too had ruled out death by drowning, spared in the report.” ISLAMABAD BAR SUPPORTS MAJLIS: Meanwhile, the Islamabad Bar Association in a general body meeting held this afternoon also rejected the CBI report and extended its full support to Majlis Mashawarat, Shopian Bar Association and High Court Bar Association. “It is strange that why a departmental inquiry was not initiated against the police officers accused of destroying vital evidence. It is the prerogative of the government to take action for dereliction of duty against them and for that mere suspension is no punishment, they should have been at least terminated,” Advocate Fayaz Ahmad Saudagar told reporters after the meeting.