Once again a ‘Muslim Victimhood” case has been debunked.
Just like in the Batla house encounter case, CBI has given clean chit to the cops who however have been already accused, humiliated and jailed for reasons that seems nothing more than ‘public demand’.
Earlier the media, journalist and even the state government were implicated in spreading falsehood, fabricating evidence, inciting street violence. Media was accused of inciting communal hatred by reporting, based on the accounts of individuals claiming to be eyewitnesses, that one victim’s forehead had been smeared with sindoor — an allegation that suggested that the rapists were Hindus.
Again the question is how can this nexus of media-journalist-politicians-minority appeasers be broken.
And how does one expect the security forces-police-military to continue working thanklessly in this hostile atmosphere, risking their life and reputation?
Accountability is virtually nonexistent and will remain so until exemplary punishments are implemented to those responsible.
Giving a clean chit to four police officials in the mysterious Shopian case, the CBI today said two women who were alleged to have been raped and murdered had actually died due to drowning, and has indicted 14 people including doctors and lawyers for allegedly fabricating evidence.
Seeking to give a quietus to the case that had led to widespread protests for 47 days in the valley during summer, CBI counsel Anil Bhan informed a division bench headed by Chief Justice Bahrin Ghosh that the women had died due to drowning in a stream.
“Rape and murder have not been established, and a report has been filed before the notified court of the CBI, that is the chief judicial magistrate of Srinagar,” Bhan said.
Life in Shopian town, 51 km from here, had come to a standstill after the bodies of 22-year-old Neelofar and 17-year-old Asiya were found in a stream. Protests were held claiming that the two had been allegedly raped and murdered.
The CBI, which has based its finding on the opinion received from experts of AIIMS, Central Forensic and Scientific Laboratory and FSL of Haryana, had told the CJM’s court on December 10 that the women were never raped and had died due to drowning.
In an embarrassment for the State government and the one-man Jan Commission appointed by it, CBI found nothing against the four policemen – superintendent of police Javed Iqbal Mattoo, deputy SP Rohit Basgotra, station house officer Shafiq Ahmed and sub-inspector Gazi Karim.
The four had spent two months in jail following orders from the high court, which had said it was convinced with the findings of the Special Investigating Team constituted by it to probe the incident that they allegedly tried to destroy the evidence.
The CBI has now filed a charge sheet against the six doctors – Nighat Shaheen, GQ Sofi, Maqbool Mir, GM Paul, Bilal Ahmed Dalal and Nazia Hassan – under Sections 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document) and section 194 (giving or fabricating evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence) of the Ranbir Penal Code.
The CBI alleged that the doctors did not carry out the postmortem properly, and gave a false report that the two victims had been raped before being murdered. The medicos were also charged for preparing false vaginal slides.
Ironically, five lawyers, including the former and present as well as the public prosecutor Mushtaq Ahmed Gattoo and Sheikh Mubarak respectively for allegedly conspiring and intimidating witnesses to make false submissions before a magistarte about women cries being heard from a policevan.
Besides these two lawyers, others include Abdul Majid Dar, Mohammed Yusuf Bhat and Altaf Ahmed. They all have been charged with section 194, 342 (wrongful confinement) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
The five lawyers have been charged with entering into a criminal conspiracy with Ali Mohammed Sheikh and Zahoor Ahmed Ahnger in pressuring two – Abdul Rashid and GM Lone – in giving false statement under oath before a magistrate that they had heard women cries coming from a police vehicle.
The CBI questioned Rashid and Lone who spilt the beans and told the agency sleuths that they had been pressurised by the lawyers through Sheikh and Ahnger. The CBI got their fresh confessional statement registered before a chief judicial magistrate.
A police constable Mohammed Yaseen Ganai has also been charge sheeted for allegedly giving false information and false charges made with an intent to injure.
The CBI took over the investigation into the case on September 17 and a team headed by deputy inspector general Satish Golcha has been camping here since then. The agency’s special director SC Sinha had also visited the place to take stock of the situation.
Ahead of the CBI investigations, the state government had appointed one-man commission headed by Justice (retd) Muzzafar Jan who, among other things, had recommended a detailed questioning of the relatives of the victims including Neelofar’s husband Shakeel and her brother Zirar Shah.