You are right, Mr CM

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People carrying dead body of Asiya and Neelofar Photo: Bilal Bahadur

[stextbox id=”info”]Chief Minister Omar Abdullah admitted this week that institutions of state meant to protect and serve people have lost credibility in Kashmir. HAROON MIRANI analyses why and how the mishandling of Shopian incident only aggravates public cynicism.[/stextbox]

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Photo: Bilal Bahadur

As Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced a judicial commission to probe the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian, he noted that people do not repose trust in government findings.

“People have deep mistrust in institutions and even if the government comes out with facts about the incident, they would not trust the findings,” Omar told a crowded press conference. “Since people don’t trust government investigations as they have lost faith in the institutions, we have ordered a judicial probe under retired high court judge, Justice (Muzaffar) Jan as people would not have been satisfied with our investigations.”

The government handling of Shopian incident however is an apt example of the mishandling of crucial situations in Kashmir. Even without bothering to sympathise with the bereaved family, the chief minister prejudged the investigation, took a dig at people, separatists and opposition parties.

When it came to the handling of the case, the procedural ritual was missing and the case appeared to be bungled and messed up right from the beginning. Omar’s judicial probe aimed to cool tempers marred the purpose with the statements he made. First he prejudged the case by ruling out rape and murder, secondly he indicated that the commission was set up to tell people the “facts” that they won’t accept form the government.

Filing an FIR

Justice (Retd) Muzaffar Jan

With utter disrespect to people’s sentiments, police didn’t file the FIR for a rape and murder. Initially they had registered an FIR under section 174, which is usual procedure in suspicious death.

However, a complaint for rape and murder was turned down by the police, even on the insistence of opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti.

Legal experts say it is surprising to see why police didn’t file rape and murder case, even if entire population was demanding it.

“Our main grievance is that police refused to rape and murder case under section 376 and 302 and they registered it under section 174 for simple inquest into causes of a death,” senior advocate, Mian Qayoom said.

Government had a chance to enhance its credibility and cool off the tempers by registering an FIR for rape and murder. The investigations thereafter would have negated the fact if proven, without any problem.

There is a clear ruling from supreme-court that on the basis of mere allegation, police has to register the rape case. But police straight away refused to file the FIR.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Photo: Bilal Bahadur

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