It is a case that is profoundly instructive as to the grim state of affairs in the Kashmir Valley in regard to the delivery of justice to the victims of the state violence.
On July 10, two days after Kashmir descended into turmoil following the killing of the militant commander Burhan Wani, police shot dead Shabir Ahmad Mir, 24, during protests at Tengpora area of Srinagar. His was then the 21st death in just two days.
His father Abdur Rahman Mir moved an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar in which he accused a police officer of forcefully entering their house and shooting dead his son. The affidavit read:
“A police party, led by DySP Yasir Qadri, forcefully entered their house and started smashing window panes and doors. On seeing this, the applicant’s wife tried to stop the police official, but he got infuriated, slapped and assaulted her. The official also hurled invectives on the woman and since the son of the applicant, Shabbir, was present on the spot, he could not bear beating up of his mother and tried to rescue her”
But this angered the police officer and he started beating up Shabir. “Not satisfied, the police official opened his pistol and fired two shots at the applicant’s son from a point-blank range. Shabir died on the spot,” the affidavit further alleged. The incident, according to the application, took place at 6.45 pm when ‘the family was watching TV in the living room of their house”.
On July 18, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, Masrat Shaheen directed the SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar to lodge an FIR against DySP Qadri after observing that “the concerned DySP has acted beyond the powers which reveals that there is a case of cognisable offence”..
But Police registered no FIR against DySP. On the contrary, it filed one against the slain youth.
In the subsequent hearing on July 28, the prosecution defended the DySP and told the court that the police had already lodged an FIR in which the deceased youth had been named as accused as “he was leading a procession on the day he was killed”. The court, however, rejected the police argument and issued fresh directions calling on the SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar to lodge the second FIR against DySP within 24 hours. But the police didn’t.
On the contrary, state’s Law department filed an appeal in the High Court against the CJM’s order. High Court, however, endorsed the CJM’s orders. But this changed little on the ground. No FIR was registered.
The court took serious notice of the violation of its orders and issued a non-bailable warrant against the SSP Srinagar Amit Kumar to be executed through DIG Central Kashmir. SSP Kumar was duly produced before the court under custody of the DIG, Central Kashmir as per the direction of the court, but was granted bail as the warrant had been “executed”.
Court again ordered FIR. Again, it was not filed.
Now the court again issued non-bailable warrant against SSP, this time to be executed by Inspector General of Police, Kashmir. But again no FIR has been filed.
The CJM has now handed the case over to High Court.
One hardly needs to explain the import of this depressing situation. If police won’t file FIR against one of its officials despite a series of court orders and the contempt proceedings, then there is little hope for the victims of the state atrocities over the past month. No matter what false hopes chief minister Mehbooba Mufti creates.
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