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Shopian rape: Judge says didn't blame victims

CNN-IBN
Jul 14, 2009 at 01:23am IST

Srinagar: The judicial commission which probed the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian on Sunday received flak from locals including the relatives of the victims who accused it of failing to identify the culprits and maligning them.

Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar, husband of Neelofar and brother of Asiya, the two women allegedly raped and murdered in Shopian on May 30, said he will file a defamation case against Justice (Retd) Muzaffar Jan who conducted the probe into the incident for his remarks on his personal life.

"The commission should produce the persons who provided wrong information about my personal life. if it fails to produce the persons, I will be left with no option but to file defamation case against the commission", Shakeel said.

"On the Commmission's recommendation that he should be interrogated for his possible involvement in planning and executing the incident. All my family members including me are ready to undergo interrogation if it helps to identify the culprits," he added.

Neelofar's father, Syed Abdul Hai, said it was shocking that the Commission has defamed the people of Shopian in general and the family of the victims in particular.

"The report says Shakeel and Neelofar had eloped and married in April-May 2007, but their son is two years and two months old", Hai said strongly denying the allegations against Shakeel.

Terming all the points about his personal life in the report as "defamatory and wrong", Shakeel said, "The inquiry not only resorted to my character assassination but also pointed fingers on the character of my dead wife".

Meanwhile, Justice Jan, the one-man commission that probed the Shopian rape and double murder case told CNN-IBN that there is nothing in his report to suggest that the victims' family was involved in any way in the incident. He rubbished reports that said he cast doubts on the victims' brothers and questioned the character of one of the victims in his report.

"I have not made any reference on the family. I have made no remark that suggests to defame them. Please read my report. I feel pained about the misinterpretetion from the report."

Shopian residents had reacted angrily to Jan Commission findings saying it was appointed to shield the culprits and it did exactly that.

"We knew from day one that the Jan Commission will not do anything other than hatching a conspiracy to shield the culprits. It turned out to be what we were expecting," Farooq Ahmad a businessman of Shopian said.

"We had no faith in the commission. We knew that it will attempt to shield the culprits in a judicious way. The time-buying approach adopted by the commission while carrying out the investigation was enough for us to believe that it was formed to hush up the case," another Shopian-based businessman, Manzoor Ahmad said.

"Jan commission after failing to identify the culprits tried to create confusion among the people by pointing fingers at Neelofar's husband Shakeel," Mohammad Sadiq, a labourer, said.

Yasir Gulzar, a student, said "I hoped a lot from the commission as it was headed by a retired justice. I thought Omar Abdullah government is serious about finding the culprit. But it turned out to be damp squib. Instead of suspending the police officials it should have dismissed them."

(With inputs from PTI)

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