HC Re-Opens Sailin Massacre Case, CBI To Probe

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SRINAGAR (ONS) – The state High Court on Wednesday ordered a re-investigation by the CBI of 19 persons in the Sailin area of Surankote, Poonch, in 1998 which had been laid at the door of foreign militants, reports said. 

The court issued the ordered a year after the kin of victims approached it for re-opening of the case where the SHRC had earlier ruled out the involvement of militants, contrary to the claims of a police probe. 

Six men and 13 women had been done to death on the night of August 3, 1998 in the house of one Hassan Muhammad Sheikh in the Sailin village, with the police investigation holding foreign militants responsible, the J and K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which fought the case on behalf of the victim’s kin, said.  

A probe by the State Human Rights Commission in October 1998, had, however, ruled out the militant hand, and implicated the army and the police in the killings, asking for a proper inquiry. 

In September 2012, the Surankote police told the High Court that the case had been investigated and closed on three occasions. 

The Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) said that it was not certain whether the closure report had ever been produced in the court, as the documents could not be retrieved either from the police or from the court. 

The office of the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) in Mendhar, where the file last reached, was gutted in a fire in September 2010, it said, adding that the High Court had ordered the CBI investigation on the basis of this status report. 

“Today’s order is also an indictment of the Jammu and Kashmir police which took no action for 14 years but in fact sought to scuttle any fair investigation into the massacre,” the JKCCS said. 

“Further. The government of Jammu and Kashmir government promoted the alleged perpetrators of the massacre like DIG JP Singh,” it said. 

“We demand that the CBI enquiry should lead to the prosecution of all the accused in this case. Further, the Government of its own, without waiting for court interventions, should investigate all massacres – such as Gow Kadal, Hawal, Zakoora, Bijbehara, Wandhama, Chattisinghpora, Nadimarg, Chota Bazaar, Sopore, Handwara and Kupwara,” he said.

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