Shopian case rocks J&K assembly


PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti supported by her party members and CPI(M) members raised the issue as soon as the house met for the day. Some NC members too demanded a debate on the matter.

Speaker M K Noor suspended the question hour and allowed a discussion after his repeated requests that the issue be raised after the question hour failed to evoke a response.

Minister for Public Health Engineering Taj Mohiuddin tried to pacify the agitated members but in vain.

He said reports appearing in newspapers of the alleged fudging cannot be termed authentic.

"We cannot rely on newspaper reports. We are trying to investigate. The matter is subjudice," he said.

However, the opposition members continued with their protests, terming it as a "serious issue".

Official sources yesterday said that the two slides of vaginal swabs sent by the Special Investigating Team to the CFSL do not match with that of the two victims -- Neelofar and Aasiya raped and murdered in Shopian.

Raising the issue, the PDP chief demanded a statement from the government and was supported by M Y Tarigami (CPI-M) and ruling party members Nazir Gurezi, Saifullah Mir, Sajad Ahmed Kitchloo and Mohammad Yaseen Shah besides Sheikh Abdul Rashid (Independent).

Though the PHE Minister said the government was verifying the media reports and described the matter as subjudice, the agitated members did not relent and continued to vociferously demand an inquiry and discussion on the issue.

PDP members raised slogans "Shopian kay katilon ko pesh karo (produce the killers of shopian)".

Sensing the mood of the members, the Speaker suspended the Question Hour and took up the discussion.

Gurezi, while initiating the discussion, demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter. He recalled the long agitation over the rape and murder of the two women.

Mehbooba accused the government of shielding the culprits right from day one. "First FIR was not lodged and government ruled out rape and murder. Police tried to hush up the case and now the DNA tests have been tampered with," she said.

She demanded that the culprits be brought to justice and wanted an impartial inquiry, but disapproved of a CBI probe.

Tarigami (CPI-M) said it now appears fabricated slides were presented for DNA examination. "This raises several questions," he said, wondering where the original vaginal swabs taken from the bodies of the two victims were.

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