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Police hand in Shopian deaths: J-K govt

IANS
Jul 10, 2009 at 09:04pm IST

Srinagar: The commission probing the rape and murder of two women in Shopian town in south Kashmir on May 30 has recommended that the five officials suspended after the crime be booked as accused, Jammu and Kashmir Finance and Law Minister Abdul Rahim Rather said Friday.

"The commission has recommended that the four police officers and an officer of the forensic laboratory should be booked as accused in the FIR filed in the rape and murder of the two local women in Shopian," he said, making public the final report of the one man judicial commission that probed the incident. The commission's interim report had held these officials guilty of destroying evidence.

"The commission has said that a separate case should also be filed against the then superintendent of Shopian for giving false evidence before the commission," the minister told media persons. Chief Secretary S.S. Kapur, Financial Commissioner (Home) Samuel Verghese and Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda were also present.

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Rather said the commission had submitted its 150-page final report July 7.

In his findings, Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan, who conducted the enquiry, said conclusive evidence to identify the culprits had not been brought to the knowledge of the commission, but the involvement of some personnel of the special task force and local police could not be ruled out.

The finance minister also mentioned the directives of the state high court, which had sought the appointment of an officer of the rank of inspector general of police to head the special investigation team (SIT) probing the rape and murder of the two women.

"Farooq Ahmad, inspector general of police (CID) is an officer of proven integrity and professional competence. He has been asked to speedily complete the investigations so that whosoever is involved in this heinous crime is brought to justice," Rather said.

The government has also appealed to the people of Shopian to co-operate with the SIT so that it can complete the investigations promptly.

Following the interim report by the commission on June 15, the state government had suspended four police officer -- the then Shopian district police chief, one deputy superintendent of police, an inspector and an assistant sub-inspector -- and an officer of the local forensic laboratory.

The commission was set up to probe the deaths of Nilofar Jan, 22, and her sister-in-law, Asiya Jan, 17, whose bodies were found by the police beside a stream near Shopian town May 30.

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