Sadrakoot massacre: Court directs Police to complete investigations by April 16

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Srinagar: Justice A.M. Magray of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday questioned Investigating Officer (SHO, Sumbal Police Station) in FIR number. 125/1996 relating to the 5 October 1996 Sadrakoot massacre. On the last date, the investigating officer had been ordered to appear in person today along with case diaries. The Court was hearing the petition filed by families of the victims of the massacre where seven civilians of three families including women were killed by Ikhwan Abdul Rashid Parray alias Rashid Billa, Wali Mohammad Mir and Mohammad Ayoub Dar, then working for the army. The State in their last status report had stated that Abdul Rashid Parray and Wali Mohammad Mir were absconding whereas Mohammad Ayoub Dar was working with the 161st Battalion Territorial Army.

The investigating officer informed the court that steps were being taken to effect arrest of the three accused, including by seizure of their property. Further, the Court was informed by Additional Solicitor General, Union of India, that Muhammad Ayoub Dar had been “disembodied” from the Territorial Army on 10 March 2016. In an earlier hearing, Union of India had taken the position that army personnel cannot be arrested by the police. Investigating officer informed the Court that now even Mohammad Ayoub Dar was absconding. 

The Court granted the investigating officer a last chance to take effective steps for the arrest of the accused and complete investigations by 16 April 2016. Twenty years after the massacre, the efforts of the family members of the victims have put pressure on the State to take serious steps to arrest the accused. (CNS)

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