Jammu, May 22:

Defence minister Rajnath Singh’s assurance of ensuring justice within a month notwithstanding, it took police over four months to produce the four torture survivors of the Poonch custodial killings before a magistrate to record their statements under section 164 Cr PC, a mandatory requirement under law.

At least four soldiers were killed and three others injured after their convoy was ambushed at Surankote’s Dhatyar Morh on December 21 last year and a day after, on December 22, three civilians from Topa Pir village were allegedly tortured to death inside army’s 48 RR camp in Bafliaz.

The defence minister had during his December 27 meeting with the deceased’s families assured completion of the probe within a month.

“Around 15 days ago, four men from Topa Pir village – Lal Hussain, Irfan, Asrael and Farooq – were produced before a magistrate in Surankote where their statements were recorded under Cr PC 164,” Mohammad Sadeeq, former sarpanch of the village and uncle of one of the three slain men, Showkat Ali, said.

There are a total of seven people, including two women, who had to record their statements before a magistrate under section 164 Cr PC, he added.

“While the findings of army’s probe are not known to us till date, police investigations are also moving at a snail’s pace,” Sadeeq said, adding, “This Sunday, Surankote station house officer had visited the village and took fresh statements of the victims and witnesses.”

On the fateful day of December 22, at least eight men from Topa Pir village were allegedly subjected to third degree torture inside 48 RR’s army camp in Bafliaz, out of whom three had died that evening by 4 pm.

The deceased were identified as Safeer Hussain, 44, son of Mir Hussain, Showket Ali, 22, son of Nazir Hussain and Shabir Hussain, 32, son of Wali Mohammad of Topa Peer village.

Jammu and Kashmir Police had on December 22 lodged an open FIR against ‘unknown’ accused of the army under section 302 of the IPC at Surankote police station.

The army had instituted a court of inquiry and Jammu and Kashmir Police lodged an open FIR against “unknown” men of the army.

HT’s e-mail to the defence spokesperson’s office, on April 6, seeking status and findings of the army probe has not yet elicited any response.–(Hindustan Times)


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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