SRINAGAR: In an interesting turn of events, the Jammu and Kashmir State Investigation Agency (SIA) has suggested the trial court will invoke letters rogatory to seek information about a set of accused, some of whom are in Pakistan. The tool is an established diplomatic way-out envisaging a formal request from a court to a foreign court for judicial assistance. It is on basis of the court order that the investigating agency makes the formal request for assistance.
The case in which the diplomatic judicial instrument is being used involves three Hizb ul Mujahideen militants, two of whom are in Pakistan and one in police custody in Jammu and Kashmir. The trio belongs to Doda.
The details of the case got revealed on Monday when the SIA filed a charge sheet against the trio in a designated court at Jammu. The accused in the case are Asif Shabir Naik, his father Shabir Hussain Naik, alias Khalid Shabir, and Safdar Hussain. Shabir Hussain and Safdar are in Pakistan unlike Asif, who is in judicial custody since his arrest at Srinagar airport. He was arrested when he was going to Pakistan.
Asif is from Kashtigarh in Doda, and Safdar is a resident of village Marmat of Doda. Shabir, Asif’s father, is the media advisor in the proscribed Hizb ul Mujahideen, the reports suggest.
Asif was arrested on October 24, 2021, when he was about to fly to Emirates from Srinagar. He has been enrolled in the Department of Media Sciences at International Islamic University, Islamabad in Pakistan. Later, his Doda home where his mother and other family members live was also raided.
Asif has been in Pakistan for almost three years, before his arrest. There, he was putting up with Shabir and Safdar.
“Even when commonplace knowledge suggests that Pakistan authorities would not co-operate in assisting this legally mandated investigation, it was thought prudent and legally warranted to use the tool of letter rogatory and request the Pakistani court of law through the laid down channel seeking information about activities of Asif while in Pakistan,” an SIA spokesman told the media. Letters are being sent in the case of Shabir and Safdar as well.