SHRC Orders Case, CB Probe Into 2011 Sopore ‘Fake Encounter’

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SRINAGAR —The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Friday ordered registration of a case into the “fake encounter” killing of a 10th standard student of Sopore in 2011 and ordered investigation by Crime Branch to be headed by SSP rank official or above, observing that “truth will die unnatural death” otherwise.

The student was allegedly killed by Police led by Inspector Gazanfar Ali alias Chulbul Pandey, the then Station House Officer Sopore.

 “Having gone through the evidence recorded during the enquiry by this Commission, it has been prima-facie established that the deceased was neither a militant nor affiliated with any Militant organisation. It is completely a fake encounter and gruesome act of the then SHO and his companions,” the SHRC member Jang Bahadhur Singh Jamwal said while ordering that investigation by Crime Branch be headed by an officer of SSP rank or higher into the death— Junaid Ahmad Khuroo,, a resident of Kralteng Sopore. 

“Those who cooked up this story committed a cold blooded murder of the innocent person and implant such treatment which otherwise is not expected from human being. The conduct of the police in such like circumstances is absolutely surrounding them that it was a fake encounter commiteed by the SHO Inspector Gazanfar Sayeed and his companions in board day light to earn extraneous benefits are being extended by the government.” 

The SHRC ordered Rs 5 lakh compensation in favour of the next of kin of the student.

“It has also been proved that the deceased had died in the police custody and was killed by the police. His NOKs are required to be compensated. Therefore, compensation to the tune of Rs 5.00 lacs and benefit under SRO-43 be extended to the NOKs of the deceased be provided,” the SHRC member said in a judgment on a plea by student’s father Abdul Qayoom Khuroo and ordered registration of the case.

“Investigation should be conducted by a person of the rank of SSP or higher of Crime Branch,” the SHRC said, adding, “It has also been proved that the deceased namely Junaid Ahmad Khuroo has died in the police custody and has been killed by the police.”

The SHRC also ordered dissuading of Inspector Gazanfar Syeed and Sub Inspector Nissar Ahmad from their regular police duty “so that they should not have a chance to intervene or interfere or hamper any kind of investigation.”

 “If such kinds of acts are put to the task a peaceful life may be extended to the society at large by small efforts of this Commission,” the SHRC said and ordered the judgment be transmitted to Chief Secretary with the direction to implement it in letter and spirit. “Copy be also sent to Principal Secretary Home Department and. Director General of Police for similar necessary action,” the SHRC said.  

Background of the case

On 29 June 2011, Junaid was on way to his school when he died of a bullet injury in his head. The police termed his death as a suicide by “militant”.  The police said Junaid was a militant and he initiated an encounter following which he committed suicide. Subsequently, an FIR was filed by the Sopore police with this version of events and closed as untraced after the investigation.

In its report to the SHRC, the police had claimed that the investigation revealed that a militant had opened fire at a CRPF bunker in Sopore and later took shelter in a local masjid. When he (Junaid) couldn’t find any escape he shot himself with a pistol, the report claimed.

However, an independent investigation by the SHRC found the allegations of the victim’s family to be correct, stating that Junaid was not a militant and termed his killing a “planned murder” by the police. It had also recommended for the registration of a separate FIR against the police and an investigation by the crime branch.

The medical officer, who had given the post-mortem report, had told SHRC that “he never conducted the post-mortem of the victim”. In fact, he examined the body at an SOG camp and not at the Sub-District Hospital in Sopore, he had said.

On that fateful day, Junaid, who was preparing for his Class X exams as a private candidate, left home to collect his roll number slip from a government school but at 12 noon his father was informed about his death.


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