Srinagar ‘Custodial Killing’: Court Orders FIR Against Munshi, Others

Representational Photo

Srinagar– A local court on Friday directed the Crime branch to file an First Information Report (FIR) against police in connection with the alleged “custodial killing” of a youth in Natipora area of the city last week.

While passing the order, the court of City judge, Srinagar directed the Station House Officer (SHO), Crime branch to get the case investigated by an efficient police officer to bring the ‘culprits’ to book.

The court order came a day after mother of 21-year-old Muslim Muneer filed a petition before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) seeking a probe into the alleged custodial killing of her son by police.

The petition was filed by Advocate Tasaduq Hussain Reshi on behalf of Shafiqa Muneer, the deceased youth’s mother.

While issuing the order, the court noted that police are bound to register an FIR and start the investigation when any information is given in relation to the commission of a cognizable offence.

“The police are mandated under law to register FIR of every cognizable offence once the same is disclosed and investigate the same. In the present case, the police have not done so,” reads the order issued by the court.

It further adds that “The police are only to examine the matter from the point of registration of a case for the purposes of proper investigation and not for the purpose of finding merits of the case on appreciation of the facts stated and information brought to its notice by any person with regard to the occurrence,”

The court noted that “keeping in view entry No. 23 of SRO 202 of 1999 of JK Government dated 03-06-2022 relating to the Crime Branch which reads thus “23 Cognizable offences committed by or relating to public servant”, this Court is of the opinion that Crime Branch has the jurisdiction to deal with the offence of the kind involved in the present case as in the present case, cognizable offences against public servants have been made out.”

It further added that “thus, SHO Police Station, Crime Branch is directed to get an FIR registered in the case against the accused,”

The court, however, noted that they won’t pass any direction as far as the prayer for the direction to conduct Test Identification Parade (TIP) in the case and for collecting the CCTV footage of Police Station, Nowgam is concerned.

“It is the domain of the investigating agency and the Court cannot interfere in the same,” the order reads.

In the petition moved before the court, Shafiqa had sought directions to the Station House Officer (SHO) Crime Branch, Srinagar to lodge an FIR under relevant Provisions of law against accused persons and all other unidentified Police officials who allegedly tortured her son Muslim in custody.

On Saturday last, Muslim was summoned to the police station Nowgam in a case pertaining to the theft of a two-wheeler. Hours later, he was allegedly dropped home dead, setting off protests by his family and neigbours.

While the family accused police of custodial killing, the latter rubbished the charge claiming that Muslim was a drug addict. Later, police suspended an official and initiated an inquiry into the death of the youth.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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