where J&K police, paramilitary CRPF and, at a distance, even army have their detachments housed. They were on way home from their orchard when they went missing. Family and police searched them during the night but in the morning one corpse was traced almost at the same place that had been scanned in the middle of the night. The second was around a kilometer away.
Government claimed they were drowned but the family believes they were murdered and raped. In fact the stream has knee-deep water that can not drown an adult. As scores are injured daily protesting over the incident, a commission of inquiry is announced that will be finishing its investigations within a month.
But the real issue is that why the situation was permitted to go to such an extreme.
The initial problem was triggered at the police level. They lodged an FIR under section 171 and refused the family to register a case of murder. This should not have been denied to the distraught family especially if the police knew the crisis is actually beginning.
Two teams of doctors were asked to conduct autopsy separately. Though a senior minister had stated that the action would be taken within 48 hours, none of the two reports was made public. In fact, a statement issued earlier by the police was withdrawn.
As the Chief Minister flew back from Delhi, he announced a commission of inquiry but insisted the initial findings pointed towards drowning rather than rape and murder. Deputy Commissioner was shifted but police was not touched. This all pointed towards a possible cover-up. In fact, some utterances of the chief executive of the sensitive state added to the crisis and the situation took an ugly turn.
The crisis was compounded at ground zero. Curfew was imposed in Shopian, restrictions were imposed on mourners and relatives and those who came out were beaten including father of the woman. A pressure cooker condition was created that had the potential to explode. And it did.
One man is already dead; many other from an estimated 500 may survive crippled. Hundreds of crores have been lost in business. A vibrant tourist season has been disturbed to the extent that quite a few are arriving here.
The issue has been totally mishandled. There is a commission of inquiry required to investigate this aspect. As for as the main incident goes, police at the local level is competent enough to investigate it. They just need a sincere go ahead.


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