ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shopian Provocation

We condemn the reported reinstatement of four police offi cers accused of tampering evidence in the Shopian rapes and murders case. Right from the very beginning the police tried to dismiss the rapes and murders of the two women Neelofar and Asiya, in May 2009, as cases of drowning, refused to lodge a first information report and made all possible efforts to tamper with evidence. The policemen were indicted by both the Jan Commission of Inquiry, which held that the tampering of evidence was a deliberate pre-meditated act, and the Jammu and Kashmir High Court which maintained that “either they had committed the crime or they knew who had done it”.

The policemen have been reinstated on the basis of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recommendations even as the case is still sub judice in the high court, which refused to treat the CBI report as the gospel truth. The high court, which had earlier ordered their arrest and later released them on bail, has still not cleared these four policemen. In light of such facts, their reinstatement amounts to a mockery of the justice system. It goes against the very spirit of justice and fair play. It also highlights the impunity enjoyed by the men in uniform and the absolute patronage given to them by the political authorities. Instead of ensuring an impartial enquiry into the whole episode and satisfying the aspirations of the people who peacefully campaigned for justice, the government has allowed the security agencies including the CBI to nail the whistle-blowers.

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