Register FIR against SOG of J

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Srinagar, Dec 25 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the police to register a case and file status report by February next year in the alleged custodial killing of a State Forest Corporation (SFC) driver by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Police in Ganderbal in January 2001.

The court gave the direction on a petition filed by one Ghulam Mohammad Mir, a resident of Rainwari, alleging that his driver son Bilal Ahmad Mir was killed by SOG, which later labelled him a Lashker -e-Toiba (LeT) militant on January 16, 2001.

Mr Mir in the petition said he sought the interucation of the court after police refused to register an FIR and respondents, including Director General of state police declared Bilal a LeT militant.

The court directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the central Kashmir district of Budgam to register a case in the killing of Bilal and file a status report by February 2008.

The petition said some unknown armed persons intercepted Bilal's official jeep at Chanapora in the uptown on January 16, 2001 and confined him and his Divisional Manager Muhammad Yousuf Gabroo in a house at Nowgam.

The armed men escaped with the jeep before releasing Bilal and Babroo.

When they rushed to Parimpora police station to lodge an FIR, they were detained and later handed over to SOG Humhama.

However, next day police informed Mir that his son's body was kept in Ganderbal Police Station.

The police refused to register a case against the SOG for killing his son, the petition further said.

Finally, Mir approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) for direction to the SSP concerned to register a case.

The petition states that general secretary of SFC's Drivers Association Abdul Majid Mir filed an application in State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) for taking cognizance of Bilal's custodial killing by SOG after in custody.

In its report to SHRC the then SSP Budgam confirmed that Bilal was arrested by SOG on January 17, 2001.

It further said on preliminary questioning, Bilal confessed that he was a platoon commander of LeT outfit and was active in Ganderbal area.

The police report to SHRC said that Bilal confessed he had kept his weapon in a hideout at Deran Ganderbal and handed over his departmental vehicle to LeT group who attacked the Srinagar Airport on January 16, 2001.

It said the SOG along with a platoon of 47 battalion of CRPF took Bilal for recovery of the weapons at Deran where they were attacked by militants.

The SOG party also retaliated and in a fierce encounter Bilal was injured and killed, the report said.

However, after considering the report, the SHRC on May 11, 2004 order reinvestigation of the case, asking the Director General of Police to constitute a special team headed by a gazetted officer to identify the SOG personnel responsible for Bilal's death so that they could be brought to justice.

But no team was constituted to investigate the case nor any financial assistance was granted to the deceased family.

The respondents have to provide ex-gratia financial relief to the family because the deceased was an innocent civilian and was killed in custody while he was on government duty, Mr Mir said and added as the respondents have failed to do so, therefore, the petitioner has no other alternative but to seek the interucation of the court.

UNI

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