Srinagar: Kashmir High Court Bar association has filed a Public Interest Litigation demanding a judicial probe by a sitting judge in the molestation of a schoolgirl in Handwara and subsequent killing of five persons in firing by the government forces.
The petitioner, president of the lawyers’ body Mian Qayoom, said that under both domestic as well as international law, the crime committed by the army or the police at Handwara and Kupwara is “unpardonable.”
“These incidents have shocked the humanity and have brought the mankind to shame,” Qayoom said, underlining that he has no personal interest in the matter except to uphold the dignity, honour of all human beings and protect their life and liberty from the “onslaught of the police and ensure the safety, security and privacy of a girl.”
He said the system under which the government forces could be brought to book, prosecuted and punished “is helpful to them only.”
“As there are no chances of getting a fair deal at the hands of the government agencies as they are determined to save the perpetrators of the crime, therefore, it is now for the court to act and provide relief to the people by ordering a high level judicial probe to be headed by a sitting judge of the High Court,” Qayoom said.
The sitting judge, he said, shall be assisted by a high-level investigating team to be headed by a credible police officer of the rank of an IGP, so that the FIRs registered at Handwara, Drugmulla, Nutnusa and Kupwara are also investigated simultaneously and final reports in term of section 173 Cr PC filed before the appropriate court.
“Whosoever, is found guilty in the molestation of the minor girl and the killing of innocent civilians be punished according to law,” he said, adding that there was need for the probe “so that the public faith which stands already eroded is restored.”
Qayoom also demanded that investigating officers or team should be directed to visit the spot and collect all evidence which may be available on spot and relevant to the case so as to make its use before the court.
He has also sought direction to the investigating agency to see as to who recorded the statement of the victim girl in the police station Handwara and how she was videographed and at whose instance her video was released on social network.
“The investigating agency be also directed to investigate as to on whose instance the girl, her father and aunt were detained at the police station and as to who met them in the police station during their detention at the police station.”
The investigating team, he said, be also directing to see as to whether the girl’s statement before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Handwara satisfied the requirements of law.
“While ensuring the safety and security of the victim girl and her family, it be also ordered that no one should cause any harm or interference in her family life and she be also allowed to move freely and attend the classes in the school, without any restriction on her movement,” Qayoom added.