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1991 Khanyar Massacre: After 27 years police seek sanction from Home Department to prosecute accused

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Srinagar: After 27 years, Jammu Kashmir Police has finally forwarded a file with regard to Khanyar Massacre to State Home Department seeking sanction to prosecute accused allegedly involved in the bloodbath.

Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, International Forum for Justice Human Rights JK had filed a petition before State Human Rights Commission vis-à-vis Khanyar Massacre while the Division Bench of the Commission presided by Mr Javaid Kawoosa and Mr Rafiq Fida had sought a detailed report about the incident from Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir.

In his petition, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo had maintained that: “About five in the evening on May 8, 1991, when a peaceful procession carrying the dead bodies of persons killed in Dachigam incident and those killed at Saidakadal locality were being brought for burial, reciting verses of Holy Quaran, the armed forced deployed at Khanyar Srinagar area of Kashmir Valley started indiscriminate firing on the mourners and killed about 20 unarmed civilians and injured more than 52 persons.”

“In this incident one infant aged two years and his father were also killed. Also four persons of the same family got killed whose dead bodies were in the mosque of the locality till late night. Number of dead persons could not be identified and were buried later after great difficulty. The authorities didn’t allow anyone to perform the religious ceremonies.”

“A team of local and foreign media men tried their best to visit the spot but were not allowed by the Forces and the Government. However, some media men already accompanying the mourners procession while performing their professional duties have also witnessed the occurrence and agreed that no provocation was offered by anyone from the mourners but armed forces indiscriminately fired and killed scores of people.”

“After sometime when the firing stopped, people tried to move to their respective places, a group of Para-military forces coming from Nowhatta started firing again on the passers-by due to which some more persons got killed and number of others injured.”

“In this incident five ladies namely Fatima of Khanyar, Shamima of Rainawari, Samina of Rainawari, Dedri of Rajourikadal, Khati of Seshagari Mohalla Khanyar and an infant of two years got killed.”

Taking the petition very seriously, the learned member Mr Abdul Hamid Wani had while asking the report from Jammu Kashmir Police had observed that: “the Commission is least interested in the initial correspondences between the Director General of Police and the Home Department and is simply interested in the dispensation of justices to the victims. The case is so old, that with the lapse of time, it may itself become obsolete with no persuasion from any quarter.”

The Commission had maintained that in spite of the fact that Director General of Police on the basis of the report from IGP, Kashmir vide no. PHQ/SHRC-633/2013/4119 dated 16/1/2018 has almost admitted the guilt of the accused and simply an ATR (Action Taken Report) is awaited which is held up because of some formal sanction by the Home Department.

Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir in his report before the Commission has maintained that the case has been forwarded to Government Home Department J&K for accord of sanction for launching prosecution in the case vide FIR number 41/1991 under section 302, 307, 109 RPC 7/27 Arms Act of Police Station Khanyar vide Police Headquarters Srinagar letter number Pros/GB/Sanc-157/97/20614-16 dated 13/3/2018.(CNS)