SIT inquiry into 2016 killings ‘to be completed by March’

SIT inquiry into 2016 killings ‘to be completed by March’

Srinagar: The Director General of Police (DGP) has directed all heads of district police to complete by March this year their probe into civilian killings that took place during the 2016 unrest, a senior police official told Kashmir Reader.
“We have been told by the DGP to complete the investigations,” the police official said. “Whatever be the outcome of the probe, we have to complete it by the end of the month of March,” he said.
Director General of Police SP Vaid told Reader that special investigation teams of the police are conducting probes into the 2016 unrest killings at the district level.
“We have constituted Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to investigate the 2016 killings. The inquiry is going on. The government has given us two to three months to complete the inquiry,” Vaid said. “We will complete it on time.”
On January 10, the government had ordered the police to set up district-level SITs to investigate deaths of “76 civilians” during the five-month-long uprising last year. The police was told that each SIT should be headed by an officer of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
However, a senior police official who heads a district said that there are bleak chances that any police officer would be charged with the killing of protesters.
“In my area, almost all the First Information Reports (FIRs) have been registered against the protesters. These protesters have attacked camps, police parties or were part of mobs who set the building ablaze,” the official said. “As a consequence, the police and other forces have acted in self defence.”
“That is why the government had been reluctant to conduct judicial probe into the killings. They know the truth,” he added.
Another police official said that in a handful of cases, the probe may lead to an outcome different from the rest.
“These cases include that of Junaid Ahmad, 12, of Saidpora, Eidgah; Shabir Ahmad Mir of Tengpora, Batamaloo; lecturer Shabir Ahmad Mangoo of Khrew, Pulwama; ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad Shah; Showkat Ahmad Itoo, 25, of Nabiza; and Saida Banoo, 42, of Churat, Qazigund,” the official said.
According to the tally of Srinagar-based newspapers, about 85 civilians were killed during the 2016 uprising and more than 15,000 sustained injuries, many of them critical ones.
The inquiry into the killings holds significance as in January this year, the Justice KL Koul report on the killings during the 2010 uprising indicted the armed forces for firing upon demonstrators without magisterial orders.
About 120 people, mostly teenagers, were shot dead by armed forces during the 2010 civilian uprising.
Justice Koul, who took six years to complete the probe, said that the fire-power used against protesters was “neither commensurate nor proportionate to deal with the disturbances.”

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