Gargan Killing: No One Turns Up Before Panel

SRINAGAR: Justice (Retd) M.L. Koul commission of inquiry on Thursday adjourned hearing in Gargan- Shopian killing till February 13, 2014.

Mr. Koul said, “I visited Shopian today despite several difficulties due to snow but there was no petitioner present and the public prosecutor also didn’t turn up. The public prosecutor is yet to receive the formal appointment orders, so there was no hearing of the matter today. I adjourned the same till February 2014.”

Justice (Retd) Koul also said that police sought time to file is report on the incident because the FSL (Chandigarh) report is still awaited.”The Police sought time on the plea that it has not  received the FSL from Chandigarh.” 

Three youth were killed in CRPF firing on September 7, 2013 when noted musician Zubin Mehta was to perform in Shalimar Gardens here. The CRPF had sought more time for the submission of its counter report.

“My sole aim is to know the truth and deliver justice. This is the purpose for which I have been mandated to probe this matter and unless the affected families do not cooperate nothing can be done,” Justice (Retd) Koul had said on last heraing.

The CRPF personnel of the 14th Battalion at Gagran camp in Shopian town fired upon and shot dead four persons on September 7, 2013. While three of them were identified as civilians, police had claimed that the fourth unidentified person as a militant—something that locals didn’t buy arguing that he was a non-local labourer. Four days after, on September 11, 2013, the CRPF personnel of the same camp had shot dead another civilian.

On September 9, 2013 a police statement had said three of the four youth killed in the September 7, 2013 shootout were civilians. However, it said the “evidences and verification suggested” that fourth “non-local looking person” was a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant.

The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had, on October 1, 2013 ordered a judicial probe into the Gagran killings, while contesting the CRPF claim that all the deceased were militants. Omar had informed the Assembly that the non-local person who was among the youth killed in the firing was a militant, a stand taken by the JK Police as well. The other three killed persons were not connected with militancy, Omar had said.

On November 25, 2013 some witnesses and relatives of those killed in the shootout had alleged that they were not informed about the visit of Justice (Retd) Koul to the town. Later succumbing to the massive public outrage, the government shifted the CRPF camp. After a strong protest in the town and a continuous shutdown for more than two weeks, government had appointed a judicial commission to probe the killings. (KNS)

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