Probe a futile exercise, says enquiry officer

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Dardpora encounter

Srinagar:  Claiming that probe into Dardpora encounter was a futile exercise, the government appointed enquiry officer Friday said it was not possible to establish the facts about the incident which happened a year ago.

“It will only be a formality if we will proceed with the inquiry. It is not possible to establish the facts about the Dardpora encounter,” Assistant Commissioner Revenue (ACR) Kupwara, Firdous Ahmad Raina told CNS. “We will send the file back to the district police chief and as a matter of fact we are mulling to inform him in writing that district administration can’t proceed with the inquiry about an encounter that is over a year old”

Raina has been appointed an enquiry officer and was directed to collect all the details about the Dardpora encounter in which seven slain people were killed. 

The encounter had taken place in Dardpora forests of Lolab in frontier district Kupwara in February last year.

The encounter had evoked widespread condemnation and massive protests erupted after security forces refused to hand over the bodies of suspected  militants to local residents, who alleged that all the seven were innocents, who were killed in a fake encounter.

The government has appointed the enquiry officer after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought a magisterial probe report into different encounters, for which state has recommended for president’s police medal to those police officials and officer, who participated in these encounters.

This followed the Supreme Court’s directions to all states to conductt magisterial probes into all cases of death, which occur in the course of police encounters.

The ACR Kupwara said a week before that then SP Kupwara Rahul Malik had written a letter to the district administration seeking probe into Dardpora encounter and asked to prepare an enquiry report into the said incident. 

Six days after the encounter, police had claimed that it identified six of seven ‘unidentified’ militants. “On the basis of evidences collected, the militants have been identified as Sufian, Rehman, Kashif, Qari, Dawood, Arqam-all residents of Pakistan. However, one killed militant is yet to be identified,” the then DIG North Kashmir, JP Singh had told reporters. Meanwhile, the state government has recommended a number of officials from Kashmir zone for president’s police medal for gallantry, in recognition of their gallant action in about 30 different encounters of the Valley.

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