Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association on Tuesday released its report regarding visit to Gool where four persons were killed in firing by Border Security Force on July 18, underscoring that a “sense of pain and horror prevails” on the faces of the inhabitants of the area in Ramban district of Jammu region.
In its seven page report about the visit of the Dharam Gool where firing incident took place, a five-member team of the KHCBA said after visiting the location on July 28, it was found that the BSF Battalion has been shifted to Ramban.
“A sense of pain and horror prevails on the faces of the inhabitants who have been living a peaceful life till the date of incident,” the report said, adding, “The locals narrated the events bit by bit and signed their statements after the same were read over to them . There was no difficulty in communication, as the local spoke fluent Urdu.”
After analyzing the evidence and the recorded statements about the occurrences having taken place on July 17 and 18, the video clips made from mobile phones at the time of the incident helped to visualize and ascertain the facts of the incident with clarity. “The statements of eye witnesses were recorded which include prominent personalities of the area and two Sarpanchs.”
As per the report, the picture which emerged reveals that during the night of July 17 at around 9-45 p.m. when the care taker of the Madrasa was offering “Isha & Taraweeh” prayers in the Madrasa, he heard the sound of heavy boots inside Madrasa. “On completion of the prayer he saw two BSF personnel having barged inside Madrasa alongwith their shoes and guns in their hands. They threatened the lone inmate by saying that we have heard that there are militants in the Madrasa who have held up some BSF personnel,” the report said, adding, “He pointed out to the room that there was none and he has seen nobody around there. He objected that they should not enter the Madras with their boots on.”
This, the report said, infuriated them and they started thrashing him with their boots and rifle butts. “Two more BSF personnel came in from somewhere. They started searching the premises and threw on ground the holy books placed on the shelf. Some pages were torn which scattered on floor,” tne report said, adding, “He tried to protest but he was dragged outside and they placed a gun on his chest.
He came to believe that they are going to kill him on spot, the report said. “He was terrified. In the meanwhile, he heard his mother calling, who is beating her son. These were soothing words.” Meanwhile, report said, a Truck [Tipper] came on the road and light fell on him and soldiers. “Truck driver was asked to move ahead. He managed to dial a number from his mobile phone to local police post at Sangaldan four kms away,” report said, adding, “The local police post instructed one Police man Khurshid Ahmad Malik to go on spot and inquire about the incident. The police man came on spot along with some employees working with Railway. People from locality gathered there and were shocked to see the scene. By then the BSF has left but they returned after some they appeared again headed by a Sikh officer who were trying to hush-up the matter and apologized about the incident of desecration of Quran by their colleagues.” By then the word had spread in the area and people felt hurt.
“It was on the fateful day of 18 July, early in the morning the people from the area started coming on the spot. Their sentiments were badly hurt and they started shouting slogans. …later SSP Javed Mattoo and Dy Commissioner Ramban Shyam Vinod Meena came to spot,” report said, adding, “People protested before them and demanded action against the culprits. The attitude of DC was not responsive and he avoided taking any action and said that inquiry will be conducted after Ramzan. This infuriated the mob. DC vanished from the spot after provoking them only.”
“…the BSF and police started second round unprovoked firing over the unarmed crowd. The above named people who were trying to pacify the people had their back turned towards camp as they were talking to people. Bullet hit in the head of Manzoor Ahmad Shan and one of his student Javid Ahmad Manhas alongwith two others persons named Abdul Latif Mann and Farooq Ahmad Beigh,” the report said as per KNS, adding, “They immediately fell down, people were running for shelter here and there… They could neither remove the dead bodies nor injured could be moved. More than sixty people were reportedly seriously injured.”
The people are of the belief that the administration and the government at different levels was trying to hush-up the matter and as this is the history of our state that none of the enquiries instituted since the year 1990 has indicted any force personnel so far.
“Remembering the Shopian incident the administration browbeats and harasses the victim families. In Shopian incident even the doctors and lawyers were not spared and cases were registered against them for raising the voice of the oppressed. Same is happening in this case also as the statement of the Chief Minister appearing in the newspapers.”
The locals, report said, are apprehensive that this case will also die its own death and justice will be eluded as ever.
“They requested the members KHCBA to invoke the jurisdiction of the High Court to monitor and supervise the investigation of the case at all stages,” he said, adding, “They were ready to provide truthful testimony before all the forums and were filling to record their statements under section 164 of the Cr.P.C.”
It was also reported, KHCBA said, that the police has not recorded any statement at all under section 161 CrPC which only strengthens the apprehension of the local population. The members of the team include advocates Aijaz Bedar, Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Shabir Ahmad Butt, Bilal Ahmad Wani and Arshid Andrabi.