SRINAGAR: The State Human Rights Commission on Monday dismissed a plea by Mohammad Ashraf Matoo, seeking directions to the government for providing him a copy of the report, submitted last year by one-man Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retd) ML Koul on the 2010 uprising in which about 120 street protesters, mostly youngsters, were shot dead.
Ashraf’s only son—Tufail Ashraf Matoo—was killed on 11 June 2010 after a tear gas canister fired by police from close range made a hole in his skull. The 17-year-old boy, who was returning home from a tuition center where he was studying for the medical entrance exam, died on the spot. His death triggered the uprising.
“The applicant (Mohammad Ashraf Matoo) seeks copy of a report of a commission which was appointed by the government under Commission of Inquiry Act 1962. The commission has submitted its report to the government and the petitioner (Ashraf) wants the (SHRC) to order supply of copy of the report to him. This request is outside the jurisdiction of the commission (SHRC),” said Justice (retd) Bilal Nazki, chairman of the SHRC, while dismissing Ashraf’s plea. The commission, however, said that Ashraf May approach appropriate authorities.
Talking to Kashmir Reader, Ashraf said he had moved the application in response to a public notice by the SHRC, asking people to approach the commission for any type of human rights violation.
“I strongly believe that denial of the COI report to a victim is a human rights violation and it was for this reason that I approached the commission but to no avail,” he said.
It was actually hope for justice that prompted Ashraf to provide full support to the CoI which also denied copy of the report to him.
“By refusing the copy of Commission’s report, we think those victim families who chose not to cooperate and repose faith in the Commission were right,” he said.
The CoI submitted the report to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on December 30, few days before the start of the budget session of the state’s legislature.
Soon after reading about the CoI in local newspapers on December 1, Ashraf rushed to the Commission’s office only to return disappointed after three visits.
The office provided him a small paper chit stating: “The Commission has recommended a CBI inquiry into the petition of Mohammad Ashraf Matoo, father of Tufail Matoo, a resident of Saida Kadal Srinagar, as detailed out in the report.”
“What are the details in the report that made it torecommend a CBI probe? Do we have a right to know or not? Do I have the right to know who killed my son and how?” he said.