Medical Reports Fabricated, Slides Fudged, Witnesses Threatened, Offered Inducements: CBI Report Uncovers The ‘Shopian Conspiracy’

17 December 2009
The Indian Express

Srinagar: After examining 264 witnesses, collecting 150 documents and searching through several thousand call data records, the CBI, in its presentation to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, has charged five lawyers of Shopian Bar Association and two private persons of intimidating and inducing case witnesses to make false statements in a bid to implicate the security forces in the so-called rape-cum-murder case of Neelofar and Asiya Jan. The CBI chargesheet also names six doctors for fabricating medical evidence. According to the CBI presentation and chargesheet, independent witness Hasina Tureay has alleged that advocate and now accused Mushtaq Ahmed Gatoo had induced her with “good jobs for children, house and Rs 20 lakh” for making false statements. Her husband Azad Ahmed Tureay corroborates his wife’s statement and names advocates Abdul Majid Mir, Yusuf Bhat and Mushtaq Gatoo for pressurising, threatening and inducing her in order to implicate the police. The CBI substantiates its allegations against the five advocates on the basis of statements given by Ghulam Mohiudin Lone and Abdul Pampori, who are the two eye-witnesses in the case. The duo were crucial witnesses as they had given evidence to J&K police that they had heard the cries of victims coming from a blue TATA 407 vehicle standing on the Zawoora bridge on the Rambiara nullah on May 29, 2009 evening. The two had deposed before the state police and others that uniformed persons, standing next to the vehicle, had also shooed the witnesses away. The CBI says that Lone told them that he had given a false statement under threats, inducement and pressure of advocates first before the Jan Commission (June 9, 2009) and later before the CJM Shopian on June 18, 2009. Pampori told the CBI that he had refused to give a false statement before the Jan Commission on June 9, 2009 itself but he was forced to reverse his decision before the Commission and CJM Shopian on June 18, 2009. The CBI has also unearthed a number of contradictions in the statements of Shakeel, husband of Neelofar Jan and brother of Asiya Jan. Shakeel, according to CBI, had talked to his wife Neelofar before the incident and was found mentioned in PIL filed by Kashmir High Court Association and Jan Commission. However, Shakeel denied any such conversation or presence of mobile phone with Neelofar to the CBI. The CBI also found evidence against the involvement of police officials with “the 47 DNA profiles of police officials not matching with the male DNA profiles in the vaginal smears of the victims.” In fact, all the police officials who searched for the deceased on May 29 were thoroughly examined including screening of their call data records. THE MEDICAL REPORTS Lung floatation test of Asiya and Neelofar * Opinion of the team of Shopian doctors: Test done, lungs floated and as such drowning did not occur. * Opinion of the Pulwama team of doctors: Not mentioned. * Medical and scientific reports of AIIMS- CFSL: Lungs found intact. The portion of viscera marked and preserved as lungs of Neelofar Jan by the first team of doctors of Shopian is actually heart tissue in multiple pieces showing petechial haemorrhages. PV examination of Asiya * Shopian doctors: Not done due to rigor mortis. * Pulwama doctors: The team has opined that the vagina admits one finger, the hymen was torn in rags, and that the rags were mildly oedematous. * AIIMS- CFSL: Hymen intact and admitted tip of little finger. It was of septate as well as cribriform type. The vaginal wall was normal in appearance, anterior and posterior commissures were normal. There was nothing suggestive of penetration of penis or like object through the hymeneal opening. PV examination of Neelofar * Shopian doctors: Not done due to rigor mortis. * Pulwama doctors: The team found that the vagina admits two fingers. * AIIMS- CFSL: Labia majora and labia minora were normal in appearance. There was no evidence of injury. Hymen was absent with minimal rags at 5 o’clock position and admitted three fingers. The vaginal canal was patulous. Making of slides * Shopian doctors: Not prepared as PV could not be done. * Pulwama doctors: Prepared the slides and sent to FSL, Srinagar on 31.5.2009. * AIIMS- CFSL: Semen could not be detected and no male fraction DNA profile could be generated from the vaginal smears of both Neelofar and Asiya taken during the post-mortem done after exhumation. However, as per the opinion of FSL Srinagar, human spermatozoa were detected on both the slides prepared on 31.5.2009. As per the report of CFSL, the slides prepared on 31.5.2009 contain one male and one female DNA profile on one slide and a different male and a different female DNA profile on the other slide. Injuries on the body of Neelofar * Shopian doctors: Ecchymotic patches on both buttocks and one scar of LSCS. * Pulwama doctors: Ecchymotic patches on both buttocks. * AIIMS- CFSL: There were no external ante mortem injuries on the body. No evidence of any fracture of bones. Injuries on the body of Asiya * Shopian doctors: In one report, ecchymotic patches on knees and abrasion on left scapula, incised wound on left dorsum of foot, incised wound 2 1-2 inches on scalp frontal region and two others on frontal head were reported. In another report, a linear cut on frontal region head and other on right nostril, both bleeding, were reported. * Pulwama doctors: Incised wound about size of 2-3 inches on scalp. Three incised wounds present on forehead and one incised wound on left foot on dorsum. Echymotic patches on anterolateral sides of thighs and both knees and 2 like cuts, abrasion on left scapula region. * AIIMS- CFSL: No evidence of any fracture of bones. Nasal bone was intact. The lacerated wound on the forehead measuring 6 cms could be sustained by striking head against hard surface or object due to accidental fall in the process of drowning. This wound could be produced by blunt force. It was simple in nature and not sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature. Sexual assault on Neelofar * Shopian doctors: No mention. * Pulwama doctors: Vagina admitted two fingers, old episiotomy wound not healed well. “Sexual assault” had been mentioned in the report, overwritten by “sexual interc”. * AIIMS- CFSL: No injuries observed on the dead body suggestive of struggle during rape or attempt to rape. Sexual assault on Asiya n Shopian doctors: No mention. n Pulwama doctors: Hymen torn in rags, the rags were mildly odematous. The vagina admitted one finger. Sexual assault had been committed. n AIIMS- CFSL: No specific injury which could be correlated with attempt to rape or rape has been observed. Cause of death of Asiya * Shopian doctors: Haemorrhagic shock due to bleeding from injuries. * Pulwama doctors: Haemorrhagic shock due to bleeding from injuries. * AIIMS- CFSL: Due to asphyxia as a result of ante mortem drowning. The lacerated wound present on forehead could be produced by blunt force- striking head against hard surface- object, was not sufficient to cause death. Cause of death of Neelofar * Shopian doctors: Neurogenic shock in absence of other signs of death. * Pulwama doctors: Neurogenic shock in absence of any other sign of death. * AIIMS- CFSL: Due to asphyxia as a result of ante mortem drowning. There were no ante mortem injuries. Presence of mud- sand in parts of Neelofar’s and Asiya’s body * Shopian doctors: No mention. * Pulwama doctors: No mention. * AIIMS- CFSL: Microscopic examination of material present in the bronchi and bronchioles of Neelofar and Asiya reveals similarity with the control earth sample taken from Rambiara Nallah in respect of foreign fibrous structures found in them which is suggestive of drowning. THE SLIDES Fudging of slides * As per CFSL report dated 5.8.2009, the slides did not originate from the deceased. * Dr Maqbool Mir and Dr Gh Qadir Sofi denied preparation of slides during post-mortem. * No evidence regarding procurement of slides during post-mortem. Chain of custody of slides * No evidence of keeping the prepared slides in the locker of Dy CMO, Pulwama office as claimed by them. * Deposited with FSL, Srinagar on 01.06.2009. * Report dated 06.06.2009 by FSL, Srinagar for presence of spermatozoa. * On 24.06.2009 slides collected from FSL, Srinagar by SIT (JKP) and deposited with CFSL, New Delhi on 26.06.2009. * On 13.07.2009 CFSL, New Delhi generated two male fractions of DNA from the said two slides. * On 05.08.2009 CFSL, New Delhi opined that DNA profile generated from the two slides was not found consistent with the DNA profile generated from the viscera of the two ladies. Contradictions in making of slides * Mohd Ashraf Shah, Farooq Ahmad Ahanger, Meema Ahktar, have stated that slides were not prepared during post-mortem on 30.5.2009. * Showkat Ahmad Bhat (lab assistant) DH Pulwama stated that he provided two slides to Dr Nighat on 31.5.2009. * Dr Nighat admitted before Dr Riyaz Wani and Dr Mohd Kar that she did not prepare the slides on 30.05.2009. * Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi and Dr Maqbool Mir refused to confirm that slides were made in their presence. Changing versions of Dr Nighat * Prepared slides from the gloves used during post-mortem on 30.05.2009. * Prepared slides by picking used gloves lying in dustbin of Pulwama Hospital on 31.05.2009. * Prepared slides by taking her own vaginal smear through a used-discarded glove on 31.05.2009. Search at Pulwama Hospital * Search made at official room of Dr Nighat on 26.09.2009 at DH Pulwama. * Seizure of four gloves from said room. * No DNA profile could be generated from the said gloves by CFSL. The investigation has proved that: * The slides were not prepared in the PM theatre. * The slides were not prepared from the vaginal smear of the deceased ladies. * The fudged slides were prepared subsequently by Dr Nighat from some other source. * The slides were not sealed and sent as claimed by the second team of doctors conducting the post-mortem. Those responsible for fudging slides: * Dr Nighat, Dr Maqbool Mir and Dr G Q Sofi responsible for manufacturing the slides. * Dr G M Paul actively connived with them in sending the slides to the FSL Srinagar and passing them off as the actual slides. * The investigation has also disclosed that a concerted effort was made to implicate the police- security forces in this false case of rape and murder. COERCION OF wITNESSES * Ghulam Mohiudin Lone in his 164-A J&K Cr.PC statement implicated: The members of Shopian Bar Association: Abdul Majid Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Gatoo, Mohd Yusuf Bhat, Sheikh Mubarak, Altaf. The private persons: Ali Mohd Sheikh, Zahoor Ahmad Ahanger. In inducing and threatening him to give a false statement implicating police. Intimidation and inducement by lawyers: Hasina Tureay * Abdul Majid Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Gatoo and Mohd Yusuf Bhat visited her house. Gatoo threatened and induced her to make a false statement. * To the effect that she and her husband Azad Ahmad Tureay had seen a police vehicle standing on the bridge, (heard) screams of the deceased ladies coming from it and (saw) some police personnel near the Rambiara Nallah in the late evening of 29.5.09. * Advocate Gatoo induced her with good jobs for her children, house, and Rs 20 lakh. * He also induced her by saying that the advocates had also offered likewise remuneration in lieu of making such false statements to witnesses Ghulam Mohiudin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori. * However, Hasina did not succumb to their pressure and inducement. Intimidation and inducement by lawyers: Azad Ahmad Tureay * He has corroborated the statement of Ghulam Mohiudin Lone. Lone had admitted before him (of) being threatened, induced and pressurised by Abdul Majid Mir and other advocates to implicate the police, in lieu of which a new house would be provided to him. Though in fact he had seen no such police vehicle or heard such scream on the said date. * Likewise, Azad Ahmad Tureay has also corroborated the statement of his wife Hasina regarding her being pressurised, threatened and induced by advocates Abdul Majid Mir, Mohd Yusuf Bhat and Mushtaq Ahmad Gatoo. Intimidation and inducement by lawyers: Ahmad Lone * Ahmad Lone corroborated the version of his son Ghulam Mohiudin Lone that his son was picked up by Abdul Majid Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Gatoo, Mohd Yusuf Bhat, Sheikh Mubarak, Ali Mohd Sheikh and Zahoor Ahmad Ahanger in the evening of 9.6.2009. He returned home at about 3 am in the (next) morning, told about being beaten, threatened and pressured by them, due to which he had given a false statement. * Upon the visit of Ahmad Lone to Abdul Majid Mir’s house the next day to protest against the beating, threats and pressure meted out to his son in order to make a false statement, the latter told (him) that his son had given a very good statement and that he (Abdul Majid Mir) was ready to keep him at his house. * Subsequent to the further statement of Ghulam Mohiudin Lone, conducted by the CBI before the CJM, Shopian, Abdul Majid Mir and Mushtaq Ahmad Gatoo met him (Ahmed Lone) in the Court and asked him to get his son to file an application in the Court saying that he had retracted from his earlier statement under the CBI’s pressure. * There is corroboration of th efact that both Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori initially refused having any knowledge about the incident. * Ghulam Mohiudin Lone was still taken to Shakeel’s house. * The CDRs (call detail records) of some advocates and the aforesaid witnesses show constant contact. Conclusion * The investigation has thus disclosed that false statements of Ghulam Mohiudin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori were recorded before the Jan Commission and u-s 164-A J&K Cr.PC under inducement and threat.