Again, CBI Skips TADA Court Appearance in Sopore Massacre Case: CCS

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KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

“Today was the tenth non-appearance by the CBI in the twelve TADA court hearings of the Sopore massacre of 6 January 1993. Following the filing of the protest petition on 28 June 2014 by the victim families against the CBI closure of the case (the closure report itself was filed in 2013, TWENTY years after the massacre), the TENTH non-appearance by the CBI has effectively stalled proceedings,” a statement issued by JK Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) said Thursday evening.

The non-appearance of the CBI in the Sopore case is consistent with the manner in which the CBI has conducted itself in other human rights cases in Jammu and Kashmir, it said. “In the five human rights abuses cases investigated by the CBI, only two have resulted in a charge sheet: the 2000 Pathribal case and the 2008 Sex abuse case. In two others, Sopore massacre of 1993 and Shopian double rape and murder case of 2009, either no accused were identified or the crimes were said not to have occurred. In the fifth case of the Sailan massacre of 1998 (19 persons from three families killed), it took the intervention of the High Court to initiate a CBI investigation in December 2012. The passage of almost three years has resulted in a total of only five victim family statements being recorded by the CBI. No arrests and no conclusion of investigations. Instead, following the court order, the CBI approached the High Court to shift the responsibility of investigations from itself to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and even sought to carry out lie detector tests on the victim families,” the CCS statement said.

“The actions of the CBI, across its Jammu and Kashmir related work, are not indicative of either an incompetent or a careless investigating agency. Instead, the CBI through delay, obfuscation and to an extent outright harassment (as in the case of insisting that Sailan victim families subject themselves to lie detector tests) has worked to ensure that the processes of justice do not conclude in prosecution. Even in cases such as Pathribal and the Sex abuse case where charge sheets were filed, the true perpetrators (in the Sex abuse case) and the senior army and police personnel (in the Pathribal case) were shielded. The CBI, meant to be the final and definitive investigating agency, has through its own work exposed itself as a tool of the State to ensure impunity in Jammu and Kashmir. To that extent, it serves no differently from the other police investigating agencies in Jammu and Kashmir,” it added.

“The Sopore, Sailan, Pathribal cases, along with cases such as Kunan Poshpora where the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and Indian Army are using the courts to stop investigations, clearly expose the intent of the Indian State vis-à-vis human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian State through its functionaries seeks to ensure cover and impunity for the accused,” the statement alleged.

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