Bijbehara Massacre: The Court Verdict

Families whose kins were massacred in Bijbehara on October 22, 1993 had knocked at the doors of judiciary. On September 10, 2007, Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for every slain civilian. The state government went in appeal against the order pleading that BSF, a central paramilitary was involved in the massacre and state government lacked any involvement. The issue was finally decided by a division bench comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi on September 9, 2015 refusing the J&K state government’s arguments. The bench upheld the single bench order and directed the government to pay Rs 4 lakh each family in all 32 cases. While the bench ordered equal distribution of Rs 31 lakh that the government had deposited with the court, it ordered the government to deposit the remaining part (Rs 93 lakh) of the compensation within a specific time frame. On 22nd anniversary of the massacre, Kashmir Life is reproducing the single bench order of September 10, 2007

J&K High Court Srinagar.
J&K High Court Srinagar.

High Court of Jammu And Kashmir At v/s Union Of India on 10 September 2007

HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR

OWP No. 149 of 1996

Sonaullah Dar & Ors: petitioner

Union of India: Respondent

G Q Bhat, Advocate

S Gowhar, Advocate

HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE HAKIM IMTIYAZ HUSSAIN

Date: 10/09/2007: J U D G M E N T

Justice
Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain.

The present petition relates to an unfortunate incident which took place on 22.10.1993 at Bijbehara in which about 32 persons got killed and several others got injured.

On 22.10.1993 an information was lodged through reliable sources in the Police Station, Bijbehara that after Friday prayers about 2000 to 3000 persons had assembled near Jamia Masjid, Bijbehara who had launched a peaceful protest against the siege of Hazratbal Shrine. The mob went towards National Highway peacefully to express their sentiments and were raising slogans also. When they reached near Goriwan on National Highway BSF personnel from 47th Bn., who were on duty fired upon the people without any cause or provocation due to which civilians got killed and injured. On receiving this report a FIR 90/93 was registered under sections 302 & 307 RPC and the investigation of the case was started. The following persons got killed in the incident:

  1. Manzoor Ahmed Dar S/o Sonaullah Dar R/o Gad Hanjipora Zirpara Bijbehara.
  2. Irshad Hussain Tak S/o Gh. MOhi-ud-din R/o Bijbehara
  3. Javeed Ahmad Waza S/o Gh. Mohd. R/o-do-
  4. Sheikh Shabir Ahmad S/o Sheikh Gh. Nabi R/o Badshah
  5. Shabir Ahmad Shah S/o Abdul Majid @ Suliman
  6. Mohd. Saleem Boda S/o Late Gh. Ahmed Tak
  7. Afroz Ahmad Zargar S/o Ab. Rashid Zargar
  8. Gh. Mohd. Zargar S/o Mehda Joo
  9. Bashir Ahmad Wani S/o Gh. Ahmed Wani @ Sofi
  10. Mohd. Abdullah Sheikh S/o Gh. Mohd.
  11. Kamal Ji Koul S/o Dawarika Nath
  12. Mohd. Altaf Sheikh S/o Nazr Ahmed
  13. Riyaz Ahmed Gutoo S/o Seraj-ud-din Gutoo
  14. Ghulam Ahad Pandit S/o Gh. Rasool
  15. Mohd. Saleem Turray S/o Mohd. Abdullah
  16. Mohd. Shafi wagay S/o Mohd. Ramzan
  17. Mukhtar Ahmad Gani S/o MNohd. Shaban
  18. MOhd. Iqbal Ganai S/o Mohd. Maqbool
  19. Abdul Rashid ved S/o Ab. Hamid
  20. Manzoor Ahmad Budro S/o Gh. Qadir
  21. Mushtaq Ahad Hamdani S/o Gh. Nabi
  22. Mohd. Shafi Hamadani S/o Mohd. Yousuf
  23. Fayaz Ahmad Tak S/o Ab. Majid
  24. Abdul Rehman Zaroo S/o Abdul Majid
  25. Mohd. Ashraf Zargar S/o Khalil Mohd
  26. Manzoor Ahmad Zargar S/o Ab. Samad All resident of Bijbehara Anantnag
  27. Gul Mohd. Kurchoo S/o Mohd. Ramzan
  28. Parveez Ahmad Dar S/o Mohd. Akber
  29. Showkat Ahmad Khanday S/o Mohd. Ramzan (Resident of Zirpara Bijbehara)
  30. Gh. Hassan S/o Ab. Razak Waza
  31. Karim Ganai S/o Ramzan Ganai (Residents of Pagal Pora Tehsil Kulgam) .
Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar
Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar

Petitioners have filed the present petition for directing the respondents to pay compensation to the tune of Rs. 50 lacs each to the petitioners who are the legal heirs of the deceased. Petitioner No. 1 is the father of deceased Manzoor Ahmad Dar. Petitioner no. 2 is the father of deceased Irshad Hussain Tak. Petitioner No. 3 is the father of deceased Javid Ahmad Waza, Petitioner No. 4 is the father of deceased Sheikh Shabir Ahmad, Petitioner No.5 is the father of deceased Shabir Ahmad Shah Petitioner No. 6 is the father-in-law of deceased Mohammad Saleem Boda, Petitioner No. 7 is the father of deceased Afroz Ahmad Zarger, Petitioner No. 8 is the father of deceased Ghulam Mohd. Zarger, Petitioner No. 9 is the father of deceased Bashir Ahmad wani, Petitioner No. 10 is the father of deceased Mohammad Abdullah, Petitioner No. 11 is the father of deceased Kamal Ji Koul, Petitioner No. 12 is the father of deceased Mohd. Altaf Sheikh, Petitioner No. 13 is the maternal uncle of deceased Riyaz Ahmad Gatoo, Petitioner No. 14 is the widow of deceased Gh. Mohammad Pandit, Petitioner No. 15 is the father of deceased Mohd. Saleem Turay, Petitioner No. 16 is the brother of deceased Mohd. Shafi Wagay, Petitioner No. 17 is the father of deceased Mukhtar Ahmad Ganai, Petitioner no. 18 is the father of deceased Mohd. Iqbal Ganai, Petitioner No. 19 is the father of deceased Abdul Rashid Vaid, Petitioner No. 20 is the mother of deceased Manzoor Ahmad, petitioiner No. 21 is the father of deceased Mushtaq Ahmad, Petitioenr No. 22 is the mother of deceased Mohd. Shafi Hamdani, Petitioner No. 23 is the mother of deceased Fayaz Ahmad Tak, Petitioner No. 24 is the brother of deceased Abdul Rehman Zaroo, Petitioner No. 25 is the father of deceased Mohd. Ashraf Zarger, Petitioner No. 26 is the father of deceased Manzoor Ahmad Zarger, Petitioner No. is the father of deceased Gull Mohd. Kachroo, Petitioner No. 28 is the father of deceased Parvaiz Ahmad Dar, Petitioner No. 29 is the mother of deceased Showkat Ahmad Khanday, Petitioner No. 30 is the father of deceased Ghulam Hassan Waza and Petitioner No. 31 is the brother of deceased Karim Ganai.

Justice Hussnain Masoodi

The petitioners state that on 22.10.1993 after friday prayers a procession of about 2000 to 3000 people was taken out from Jamia Masjid, Bijbehara, against Hazratbal siege. The procession was completely peaceful and there was no armed militants among the demonstrators. They were raising slogans for lifting the siege laid by the army around Hazratbal Shrine. As the procession reached on the main highway, respondent no. 4 took out his revolver and without any warning fired some shots in the air, as a signal for other security personnel including respondents 5 to 15 to open fire and they immediately after the revolver shots started firing indiscriminately on the procession, from three sides, resulting in the death of civilians on spot including the above named deceased persons. Most of the deceased persons were hit by the bullets on their chest and upper portions of their bodies. In the said episode over one hundred others sustained injuries. This indiscriminate firing by the respondents 4 to 15 including other personnel of 47th Bn. BSF was absolutely without any provocation.

Petitioners further state that immediately after the incident, two functionaries of the Government namely Chief Secretary Sheikh Ghulam Rasool and Ashok Jaitlay visited Bijbehara for on spot study of the situation and after hearing the eye witness accounts as also the versions given by the district administration, they were shocked and expressed their grief.

The petitioners further state that immediately after the incident, the State Government ordered enquiry by an Enquiry Magistrate, who after conducting enquiry into the whole case, submitted his report to the State Government.

Respondents have filed separate replies. Inspector General of Police Kashmir Province has in the reply filed on behalf of respondents 2 and 3 stated that the BSF Personnels were found involved in the case accordingly a report was submitted to the concerned quarters for grant of sanction for launching prosecution against them.

Deputy Inspector Gesneral, Border Security Force has in the counter affidavit, stated that on 22.10.1993 at about 1500 hrs officers went to Bijbehara Town. The party travelled in two vehicles. On reaching National Highway-IA they went towards Police Station of the town and reached there at about 1505 hrs. By that time a crowd of about 50 persons had assembled there. Officer of the ROP party stopped his vehicle and asked his troops to get down. On seeing the BSF vehicle parking and troops getting down, the crowd dispersed and went inside the lanes. Meanwhile crowd started concentrating in bigger number at various cross-ways of the town. The BSF officer alongwith his troops went towards of T. Junction of Bijbehara- Jublipoa area. When they reached there, the officer saw 200-300 persons coming from taxi stand side and raising anti- India slogans demanding lift of seige of Hazratbal Shrine.

Since it was the time for the BSF convaoy to pass through Bijbehara town, the officer ( respondent No. 4) asked SI Malhar Singh of the ROP party to ask the crowd to disperse so that the BSF convoy gets a safe passage. When the SI was talking to the leaders of the crowd, 2-3 persons from amongst the crowd attached Ct.

Sajesh MV who was standing near him. SI Malhar Singh went towards Ct. Sajesh MV suddenly a brust of AK-47 rifle was fired and one bullet hit the right shoulder of SI Malhar Singh who fell down on the ground and a few persons from the crowd tried to snatch his CM 9 mm carbine. During the scuffle 9 mm CM of SI Malhar Singh got fired. Then firing of AK-47 rifle started on BSF troops from both sides of the road and different lanes and from the roofs of the houses. Respondent did not order anybody to open fire. As the troops deployed on the ROP duty were taken inside the lanes by the mob the troops were not visible or in verbal contact with the respondent as such there was no case of approval or consent of the respondent.

The respondents have further stated that there was no plan to commit any offence but it were the militants who provoked civilians to such an extent that they tried to snatch the weapons of the troops. In support of the counter filed by the IGP BSF respondents JK Rathula S.I. Malhjar Singh,Nand Kishore , Khairul Hussain, K.K. Talukdar, Sathisan, Ravi Kumar, Kulwant Singh, Prem Singh, H.B. Jayaram and Shiv Murteppa and other respondents have also filed their affidavits in which it is stated that the actions taken by them were in the official discharge of their duties and had due sanction of law.

The petitioners have in the rejoinder stated that the deceased persons were having their aim of life to rise very high and thereby earn a good amount for the benefit of their families ( petitioners) which right has been snatched by the respondents by killing them without any rhyme or reason by the respondents.

It is stated that deceased Manzoor Ahmad Dar was 18 years old and his qualification was 9th pass and the aim of his life was to become a doctor and in order to provide help to his parents it was expected that the said person would have earned a handsome amount. Deceased Irshad Hussain Tak, a student of B.Sc. Ist was also expecting to be a doctor and earn a good amount. Like wise deceased Javid Ahmad Waza, Sheikh Shabir Ahmad, Shabir Ahmad Shah were 10th pass, TDC respectively and their aim of life was also to become doctors and earn good amount for their respective families. Deceased Mohd. Saleem Boda was a Govt. employee and was of the age of 35 years earning a monthly salary of Rs. 5000/-. The deceased was yet to serve for 23 years and his income for these years would have been more than 15 lacs.

Deceased Afroz Ahmad Zargar a student of 7th was also intending to become a doctor and earn specious amount for his family. Deceased Bashir Ahmad Wani and Gh. Mohd. Zargar were of 30 years and 50 years age and carrying their business thereby earning more than Rs. 5000/- per month. Deceased Mohd. Abdullah Sheikh was a tailor master earning a handsome amount of Rs. 5000/- per month. Deceased Kamal Ji Koul was a student of 8th class with the aim to become doctor. Mohd. Altaf Sheikh and Riyaz Ahmad Gatoo deceased were 9th class students intending to become doctors and earn good amount for their respective families and themselves but have been deprived to do so by the actions of the respondents. Deceased Gh. Ahmad Pandith was carrying his business and was earning Rs. 5000/- per month. Deceased Mohd. Saleem Turay was of 40 years age and a Govt. employee drawing a salalry of 6000/- per month. Deceased Mohd. Shafi Wagay was of 22 years age carrying on his business and earning an amount of Rs. 5000/- per month. Mukhtar Ahmad Ganie of 18 years age and class 10th student was intending to become a doctor like that of Mohd. Iqbal Ganie, 17 years age, 9th class student and Ab. Rashid Vaid, 17 years age and class 10th Student but all of them got killed by the firing of the respondants and the family deprived of their income which they would have earned and accrued to them through the profession of the doctors. Deceased Manzoor Ahmad Bader was of 18 years age carrying out his own business thereby earning Rs 6000/- per month. Deceased Mushtaq Ahmad Hamdani a student of 18 years age student of 10th class was intending to become a doctor. Deceased Mohd. Shafi student of TDC of 18 years age was also intending to become a doctor. Deceased Fayaz Ahmad Tak and Ab. Rehman Zaroo of 20 years and 65 years age were carrying their own business thereby earning Rs 6000/- each per month and have been deprived by the respondants. Deceased Mohd. Ashraf Zargar was a student of 10th class of 15 years age intending to become a doctor and thereby earn good amount through this profession. Deceased Manzoor Ahmad Zargar was of 40 years age carrying on his business thereby earning more than Rs. 10,000/- per month but his family was deprived of the said income by the respondents. Gull Mohd. Kachroo was also carrying on his business thereby earning Rs 6000/- per month. Deceased Parvaiz Ahmad Dar was of 18 years age and a student of TDC. Deceased Showkat Ahmad Khanday was carrying on his business and earning Rs 6000/- per month. Deceased Gh. Hassan Waza was a Govt. employee drawing Rs. 5000/- per month but his family was deprived of the said income of the deceased. Deceased Karim Ganaie was also a Govt. employee drawing a salary of Rs. 5000/- per month and his family also was deprived of the earnings of the deceased. Besides loss of the earnings of the deceased by the unprovoked firing of the respondents the deceased persons mentioned in the writ petition were subjected to harm, pain and mental agony as well as the family members of the deceased also suffered mental agony due to the action of the respondents for which the respondents are liable to compensate them.

Heard. I have considered the matter.

The occurrence is not denied by the respondents. It is admitted by them that the incident took place in which about 31 persons got killed. In fact the Government has vide order No. Divcom/Relsief -257 of 1993 dated 27.12.1993 sactioned ex- gratia relief of Rs. One lac in favour of the next of the kin of the deceased. Thus there is no dispute over the fact that the incident has taken place in which the above named persons have been killed.

The Dy. Inspector General BSF has taken the stand that the troops did not fire upon the mob but it was due to the provocation given by the militants that the civilians tried to snatch the weapons of the troops in which one S.I Malhar Singh was hit on his left shoulder with a bullet of AK 47 rifle. It is further stated that the respondents have not violated any of the rights of the petitioners. He has further stated that armed Force J&K Special Power Act gives wide powers to the security forces to control the militant activities. The militants had mingled up with the crowd and they fired upon the BSF toops on ROP duty. Firing was resorted to by the militants from among the crowd and the militants in fact are responsible for the death of the civilians if any. The pleas taken in the counter by the Dy. Inspector General, however get contradicted by the affidavits K.S. Sambyal, Radola S.I. Malhjar Singh,Nand Kishore , Khairul Hussain, K.K. Talukdar, Sathisan T.R, Ravi Kumar, Kulwant Singh, Prem Singh, H.B. Jayaram and Shiv Murteppa who have stated that the actions they have taken were in the official discharge of duties and had due sanction of law. Though the Dy. Inspector General of Police says that S.I. Malhar Singh received AK 47 bullet injury but no medical certificate has been placed on record to substantiate this fact. These persons have not denied killing of the persons mentioned above but state that the action was in the official discharge of duties.

On the other hand there is sufficient material on file to support the version as put-forth by the petitioners. Station House Officer who has registered the case has recorded in the report that the mob was peaceful. The Government ordered a magisterial enquiry also into the incident. Enquiry Magistrate Bijbehara Firing Case has submitted his report to the State Govt. vide No. EM/BFC/93/23-24 dated 13.11.1993. The report as reproduced in the petition reads as under:-

  1. On 22.10.1993 a procession of 2000 to 3000 people was taken from Jamia Masjid Bijbehara against Hazratbal siege. The procession was entirely peaceful and un-armed. There was no armed militants amongst the demonstrators.
  2. It has been established beyond any shadow of doubt that firing upon the procession was absolutely un-provoked and the claim made by the security forces that they were forced to retaliate the firing of militants for self defence is baseless and concocted.
  3. The enquiry conducted falsifies the assertion of the BSF personnel that total 51 bullets were fired by them. Actually, besides the cold blooded killing of 31 persons some 73 persons were injured.
  4. There were no causalities from the BSF side and which conclusively establishes the fact that there was no firing from the side of the processionists and there was no militant or armed person in the crowd.
  5. The security forces/personnel have committed offence out of vengeance and their barbarous act is deliberate and well planned. When the very custodians of life and property of innocent and un- armed citizens return renegrade and set out to destroy the same, it does not augur well for the future of any democratic country. The happiness and the very inhuman callousness exhibited by security personnel places a big question mark on the procedure involved in the recruitment and training of such force. The role of Deputy Commandant Shri J.K. Rodala in the whole incident is equally culpable because of tacit approval given by him to the indiscriminate and un-provoked firing. This has shuttered beyond repairs the confidence and trust that the people of a democratic country repose in the protectors of their lives. Thus it is imperative upon every right thinking individual to condemn this gruesome incident as a blatant violation of human rights and values.

Therefore, I as the Magistrate of Enquiry recommend the immediate dismissal of these accessed persons who committed this dastardly act. This should further be foll9owed up with the initiation of criminal proceedings against them and every effort should be made to ensure that justice is done and maximum possible punishsment under the law of the land is awarded to such malignant and sick minded individuals.”

According to the report of Commandant 74th Bn. Border Security Forces, the following security personnel were involved in firing:-

S.No. Regimental No.    Rank           Name

  1. 662653839             S.O.            Malhar Singh
  2. 73221027                NK              Nand Kishore
  3. 80766049               NK              Khairul Hussain
  4. 84744051                LNK           K.
  5. 86102271                LNK            H.B. Jayarama
  6. 89200168               CT               Shiv Murtiappa
  7. 91254032                CT               Ravi Kumar
  8. 91007455                CT               Kulwant Singh
  9. 88007987               CT               Bhoop Singh
  10. 88433763               CT                Satisan T.R.
  11. 9017101                   CT                Prem Singh

Sd/- Enquiry Magistrate

Bijbehara Firing Case.

Respondents have not denied these facts. Respondents 2 and 3 have about the report stated that it is a matter of record which means that the findings of the Magistrate as reproduced above are not disputed either by the BSF or by the police authorities. The findings of the Magistrate shows that the procession was entirely peaceful and unarmed. There were no armed militants with the demonstrators. It has also been established that the firing upon the procession was absolutely unprovoked and the claim made by the security forces that they were forced to retaliate on the firing of the militants for self defence appears to be baseless.

Even the respondents 2 and 3 have in their reply stated that the number of BSF personnel were found involved in the case and accordingly report was submitted to the concerned quarter for grant of sanction for launching prosecution against them.

These facts sufficiently show that the BSF personnel on duty opened fire on the mob without any provocation or cause. The procession was entirely peaceful and unarmed and there is no evidence of the presence of any armed militants in the mob.

Thus there was no justification to kill these persons who were closely related to the present petitioners.

Learned Counsel for the petitioners relies on Smt. Nilabati Behera @ Lalita Behera v State of Orissa & Ors. (AIR 1993 SC 1960), Bihar State Housing Board & Ors. v Prio Ranjan Roy., (1997) 6 SCC 487 Dilip K. Basu v. State of West Bengal & Ors. 1997 SC 3017 and United India Insurance Co. v. Gh. Mohd. Mir 1999 SLJ

  1. In Lalita Behera’s case it was observed by the Supreme Court that where there is a contravention of human rights and fundamental freedoms by State and its agencies, court has obligation to grant compensation in petition under Art. 32 or 226 i.e. in public law. The Court observed:

“It follows that a claim in public law for compensation for contravention of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the protection of which is guaranteed in the Constitution, is an acknowledged remedy for enforcement and protection of such rights, and such a claim based on strict liability made by resorting to a constitutional remedy provided for the enforcement of a fundamental right is ‘distinct from, and in addition to the remedy in private law for damages for the tort’ resulting from the contravention of the fundamental right. The defence of sovereign immunity being in applicable, and alien to the concept of guarantee of fundamental rights, there can be no question of such a defence being available in the constitutional remedy. It is this principle which justifies award of monetary compensation for contravention of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, when that is the only practicable mode of redress available for the contravention made by the State or its servants in the purported exercise of their powers, and enforcement of the fundamental right is claimed by resort to the remedy in public law under the Constitution by recourse to Arts. 32 and 226 of the Constitution. This is what was indicated in Rudul Shah ( AIR 1983 SC 1086) and is the basis of the subsequent decisions in which compensation was awarded under Arts. 32 and 226 of the Cosntitution, for contravention of fundamental rights.”

This Court and the High Courts being the protectors of the civil liberties of the citizen, have not only the power and jurisdiction but also an obligation to grant relief in exercise of its jurisdiction under Articles 32 and 226 of the Constitution to the victim or the heir of the victim whose fundamental rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India are established to have been flagrantly infringed by calling upon the State to repair the damage done by its officers to the fundamental rights of the citizen, notwithstanding the right of the citizen to the remedy by way of a civil suit or criminal proceedings. The State, of course, has the right to be indemnified by and take such action as may be available to it againt the wrongdoer in accordance with law through appropriate proceedings. Of course, relief in exercise of the power under Article 32 or 226 would be granted only once it is established that there has been an infringement of the fundamental rights of the citizen and no other form of appropriate redressal by the Court in the facts and circumstances of the case is possible. The decisions of this Court in the lien of cases starting with Rudul Shah v. State of Bihar, ( 1983) 3 SCR 508: ( AIR 1983 SC 1086) granted monetary relief to the victims for deprivation of their fundamental rights in proceedings through petitions filed under Article 32 or 226 of the Constitution of India, notwithstanding the rights available under the civil law to the aggrieved party where the courts found that grant of such relief was warranted. It is a sound policy to punish the wrongdoer and it is in that spirit that the courts have moulded the relief by granting compensation to the victims in exercise of their writ jurisdiction. In doing so the courts take into account not only the interest of the applicant and the respondent but also the interests of the public as a whole with a view to ensure that public bodies or officials do not act unlawfully and do perform their public duties properly particularly where the fundamental rights of a citizen under article 21 is concerned. Law is in the process of development and the process necessitates developing separate public law procedures as also public law principles. It may be necessary to identify the situations to which separate proceedings and principles apply and the courts have to act firmly but with certain amount of circumspection and self-restraint, lest proceedings under Article 32 or 226 are misused as a disguised substitute for civil action in private law. Some of those situations have been identified by this Court in the cases referred to by Brother Verma, J.

In the facts of the present case on the findings already recorded, the mode of redress which commends appropriate is to make an order of monetary amend in favour of the petitioner for the custodial death of her son by ordering payment of compensation by way of exemplary damages. For the reasons recorded by Brother Verma,J., I agree that the State of Orissa should pay a sum of Rupees 1,50,000/- to the petitioner and a sum of Rs. 1,000/- byw ay of costs to the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee. I concur with the view expressed by Brother Verma, J. and the directions given by him in the judgment in all respects.”

Law laid down by the Apex Court squarely applies to the facts of the present case. From the pleadings and the record on file it is established that the deceased got killed by the indiscriminate firing of the BSF authorities who opened fire without any provocation and justification. Thus there is gross violation of the human rights which caused an irreparable loss to the petitioners who are closely related to and are next of the kins of the deceased persons.

In the circumstances of the case I find due force in the pleas raised in the petition.

The petitioners have given details of the age, occupation/profession and income of the deceased persons. Most of them were students having a bright career.

Some of them were doing business and earning a handsome income to sustain their family. All these facts, as given by the petitioners in the petition and in the rejoinder have not been disputed by the respondents as such these remain unrebutted and are to be taken as correct.

On the findings recorded above and keeping in view the age and other facts regarding the deceased persons I direct the State to pay a compensation of Rs. 4 lacs to each petitioner for the loss of life of their close relatives/dependants who have been killed in the incident and whose particulars are given in the petition . This amount shall be in addition to the ex-gratia relief paid to them. Let the amount be paid to the petitioners within a period of three months from the date the copy of this order is served on the respondents.

Order accordingly.

Srinagar  10.9.2007                          (H. Imtiyaz Hussain) Judge

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