Killing of a Forest Ranger: Court Directs Police To Constitute SIT

SRINAGAR: The court of sub-judge, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ganderbal has directed SSP Ganderbal to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) and carry out proper investigation into the killing of a civilian by a government gunman in 1999. The court has also direct SSP Ganderbal to submit a report.

Eighteen years ago, Ghulam Mohammad Lone was allegedly killed by members of the government sponsored Ikhwanis, led by Nazir Ahmad Lone alias Nazir Gurra while in this regard a formal FIR vide number 33/1999 stands registered at Police Station Kangan.

On 23 June 1999, Ghulam Muhammad Lone, a Ranger in the Forest Department, was killed by Nazir Gurra and other Ikhwanis for protesting the illegal cutting of trees in the area by the government gunmen.

While an FIR was filed, the police allegedly did not carry out investigations. After various efforts before the local administration and police, Abdul Qayoom Lone, the son of the victim, filed a writ petition before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2015. Before the High Court, SHO, Kangan Police Station, submitted a status report that the case had been closed as untraced on 29 September 1999 and submitted before the competent court on 20 March 2001.

Based on this report, the High Court, on 2 May 2016, disposed off the petition and directed Abdul Qayoom Lone to approach the lower court for relief. But, in the recent order of 14 March 2017 according to Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, no closure report was ever filed before the lower court and the SHO Kangan Police Station misinformed the High Court.

“This case illustrates the various levels of obfuscations of the State to ensure impunity for State forces and their functionaries, such as the Ikhwan, accused of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The recent order of 14 March 2017 serves as another marker in the struggle for justice in this case,” Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) – a rights defender group based in Srinagar – said in a statement.

The case is next listed before the same court on 30 March this month. (CNS)

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