Shopian rape case: Lawyers forum demands probe

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Srinagar, December 19 (ANI): The lawyers' forum in Kashmir on Friday (December 18) demanded an impartial probe in the Shopian rape and murder case that took place in May this year.

Earlier on December 15, the Majlis-e-Mushawarat Shopian had called for a shutdown in protest against the report of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the Shopian rape and murder case.

The CBI's report on the Shopian case had sparked off an agitation in the Kashmir valley on Monday (December 14), with the families of the two women who were allegedly raped and murdered in Shopian district of Kashmir, refusing to accept the findings of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report and burnt it outside the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

In their final report submitted to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the CBI has given a clean chit to the accused, denying that the two women had been raped before being killed.

The CBI in its report said that the death of 22-year-old Neelofar and her sister-in-law Aasiya was due to drowning.

The CBI has filed charge sheets against six doctors; five lawyers and two others for fabricating the evidence that led to huge protests in the area.

The CBI will now present the report in-camera, in the chamber of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Chief Justice, as the families of the victims did not accept the findings in the earlier report.

In May this year, the bodies of the two women, Neelofar and Aasiya were found in a stream near an orchard in Shopian, 51 kilometers from Srinagar.

The deaths were followed by protests that lasted nearly 2 months, with many local groups claiming that the women had been raped and then murdered by security personnel. The protesters were demanding that those responsible for the rape and murder be brought to justice.

Following this, the CBI exhumed the bodies and an on the spot examination was done by the doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The reports of the tests were shared with the Mushawarat Majlis-e-Committee, the group that had led the protests in Shopian after the bodies were discovered.

In the forensic report submitted by the doctors of the AIIMS, the doctors had reportedly pointed out that soil and water were found in the two women's lungs and other organs. Their bodies would have got airlocked had they been killed, and then drowned into the river.n September 12, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had granted bail to the four policemen who were accused of having a role in the case.

The policemen - Former Superintendent of Police of Shopian Javed Iqbal Mattoo, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohit Baskota, Station House Officer Shopian Shafiq Ahmed and Sub-inspector Gazi Abdul Rehman - were released on payment of a bond of Rs.50, 000 each.

The four had been accused of destroying evidence related to the case. (ANI)

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