Cash reward for vital clues in Shopian case

State govt decides to hand over case to CBI

A girl, identified as Asiya, and her sister-in-law, Neelofar, were raped and killed on May 29. Their bodies were recovered from a rivulet the next morning.

The cash reward was announced as the special investigation team (SIT) failed to obtain vital clues in the case. “The names of the persons giving vital clues about the guilty will be kept secret,” said an SIT spokesman.

With the SIT showing no signs of breakthrough, the state government has decided to hand over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The government has also approached the state high court, which is monitoring the investigation, in this connection.

For the record, it was on the directions of the high court that the SIT arrested four police officials, who had been handling the case. They were earlier indicted by the judicial commission of inquiry (JCI), which was set up by the government to probe the case. They were blamed for the destruction of evidence to shield the guilty.

The officials have been in jail since their arrest in July. Even as they approached the Supreme Court for bail, it directed them to move the Shopian sessions court.
As their plea was dismissed by the sessions court, they approached the high court, which is yet to grant them bail.

Ridiculous
Meanwhile, the Majlis-e-Mushawarat Shopian (MMS), a joint platform of social activists spearheading the movement for justice, has described as ridiculous the announcement of cash reward. “The state government is not sincere in solving the case. Instead of utilising its resources, the government is trying to shield the killers with ineffective investigations. The announcement of cash reward is an eye wash,” said Mohammad Shafi Khan, MMS spokesperson.

Similar views were expressed by the Independent Women’s Initiative for Justice in Shopian, a team of women professionals from Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir.
The team visited Shopian recently and met the affected family and a cross-section of people. It also called on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

The team on Saturday alleged that the state government was least interested in cracking the case. It also accused the police of even tampering with the post-mortem report to give an impression that it was a case of drowning.

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