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J-K to Take Action on Fake Killings That Followed Chittisingpora Sikh Massacre


The Indian Express, Srinagar, Jan. 18, 2003

Nearly three years after the killing of five innocent people in an encounter at Pathribal in South Kashmir, the J-K government will take action against a senior state police officer and others found guilty by a judicial commission that probed the incident and the subsequent fudging of D.N.A. samples of the victims. A three-member Cabinet sub-committee, headed by Deputy C.M. Mangat Ram Sharma, was formed yeterday to study the Justice Kuchai Commission report and take action within 15 days against those held reponsible for the killings and the fudging of D.N.A. samples. A C.B.I. inquiry into the incident is already ongoing. This was announced by Muzzaffar Hussain Beigh, Law and Finance Minister and a member of the Cabinet sub-committee.

Beight said that the government will also initiate disciplinary action against the former district magistrate of Anantnag for not cooperating with the commission. The Army which had led the operation has refused to turn up before the commission. 'We will take up the issue with the centre so that the [Army personnel] involved in the fake encounter are punished. The commission has held S.S.P. Farooq Khan and an S.H.O. and some others responsible,' Beigh told The Indian Express. 'The report reveals that former deputy commissioner of Anantnag, Samyal, did not cooperate with the commission. The medical team which took the samples of the killed persons for D.N.A. had used police technicians and fudged the samples,' he said.

The five persons were killed by the Army and the police in a fake encounter at Pathribal in Anantnag and later branded as foreign militants responsible for the masscare of Sikhs at Chittisingpora. The relatives of the killed persons and villagers [have] demanded exhumation of the bodies. The bodies, however, were exhumed only after eight persons were killed and over [12] injured in police firing on a demonstration protesting against the killing of the five. A commission, headed by Justice Pandian, held the police and C.R.P.F. responsible for unprovoked firing on the demonstration and recommended a probe into the Sikh massacre and the Pathribal encounter. The Kuchai commission has held the medical team of the Government Medical College, Srinagar, responsible for fudging the blood samples in connivance with police. Meanwhile, the C.M. today placed an inspector, Gazanfar Ali, under suspension. Ali allegedly kept a mason in illegal detention and tortured him to death two months back.