Produce Colonel in custodial disappearance case, J

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Srinagar, Sep 5 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the defence authorities to produce an Army Colonel, allegedly involved in the custodial disappearance of a person in 2002 in Kashmir, within two weeks.

The direction of the single bench of the court came on a petition filed by the family members of Manzoor Ahmad Dar, a chemist, who disappeared after he was arrested by the Army on the evening of January 19, 2002 from central Kashmir district of Badgam.

After massive protests, the authorities appointed Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Badgam, to investigate the custodial disappearance of Dar.

The CJM, in his report, held Col Kishore Malhotra, presently posted in Drass, responsible for Dar's disappearance.

Col Malhotra failed to appear before the inquiry committee, delaying justice, the petition said.

It said that after the arrest of Dar, Col Malhotra assured the Dar's family members hat he would be released. However, after several weeks, he denied to have arrested Dar.

Rejecting the defence counsel's argument that Col Malhotra was posted at Drass and could not leave his post, the court directed the Army to present him within two weeks before the investigation team.

A Defence Ministry spokesman, when contacted, said he had no information but would try to get details from the defence counsel.

UNI BAS SKB GC1540

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