J&K govt for Shopian probe

J&K govt for Shopian probe

Opposition criticises the move, raises ruckus in state Assembly

The announcement was made in the Legislative Assembly by Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather after a heated debate over the issue. “The government on the next working day would bring to the notice of the High Court, monitoring the investigations, to get the Shopian incident investigated by the CBI, as desired by the members of the Legislative Assembly,” he said. The issue of the alleged tampering of DNA reports in the case rocked the Assembly on Wednesday.

“However, there is a problem. Since the special investigation team (SIT) was formed under the directions of the High Court, the government will approach the court to seek permission for handing over the case to the CBI,” Rather said.

The alleged fudging of DNA reports in the Shopian case was raised with the Opposition and ruling party members insisting on a debate on the issue, leading to suspension of the Question Hour.

Rather earlier stated that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah would make a statement on the issue.

Advocate General Ishtiaq Qadiri informed the High Court about the government’s decision.

The next hearing of the case is on August 18. The High Court, which is hearing a PIL  filed by the Kashmir Bar Association, has directed the SIT to report to it the developments in the case.
 A division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Mohammad Yuqab Mir, hearing the case, said: “It appears that one sample has been tampered with. This is no longer a police matter but the case is in public domain. We will not allow it to go like the sex scandal (of 2006) way,” Ghosh said.

“The court will pursue the case with full vigour.” The chief justice also said he would not hesitate to bring officers from outside the state to get the matter investigated.
Shakeel Ahmad, husband of one of the victims, said even after a long time, the culprits were still at large.

The judges interacted with IGP Farooq Ahmad, who is heading the SIT, inside the chamber for some time. Criticising the decision to hand over the Shopian case to the CBI, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said the central agency was being used as a “tool to cover up” the atrocities on the people of Kashmir. 

Mufti, supported by her party members and CPM member Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami raised the issue as soon as the House met for the day.

Speaker M K Noor suspended the Question Hour and allowed a discussion after repeated requests that the issue be raised after the Question Hour failed to evoke any response.
Official sources on Wednesday said the two slides of vaginal swabs sent by the SIT to the CFSL did not match with that of the two victims. Raising the issue, the PDP chief demanded a statement from the government.

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.