Seven years on, justice eludes Tufail Mattoo’s family

Seven years on, justice eludes Tufail Mattoo’s family
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His father says ‘democracy is by the police and for the police’

Nazima Rashid
SRINAGAR: As the seventh death anniversary of 17-year-old Tufail Mattoo is observed today, his family has accused people at the helm of affairs of shielding the killers of their only son.
“When the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was in the opposition, they made a hue and cry over the killings of innocents. Now I want to ask them where has that hue and cry gone? Time has proved that there is no difference between the National Conference and the ruling PDP. Both are playing the same game. Their non-seriousness in handling the killers of the innocents of 2010 has resulted in the 2016 genocide in Kashmir,” Tufail’s father, Mohammad Ashraf Mattoo, told Kashmir Reader.
In 2014, former chief minister Omar Abdullah had constituted a one-man judicial commission, headed by Justice (retd.) Moti Lal Koul, to probe the 2010 killings. The commission, in its 320-page report to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on 31 December, 2016, recommended a CBI inquiry into the killing of the teenager. Five months later, the report is yet to be made public. Tufail’s father termed the commission “a tool to cover up the 2010 civilian killings”.
“I have not been provided a copy of the Koul Commission’s report. I had approached the authorities concerned for it, but I was refused. How can a victim’s family be denied a copy?
“The commission was established in 2014 instead of 2010, which gives a clear indication that it was put together simply to hoodwink people. Moreover, when former prime minister of India Narasimha Rao can appear in court, then why did the commission fail to call Omar Abdullah before it for questioning,” the victim’s father asked.
In May 2015, the Crime Branch, which investigated the case on the directions of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, closed the investigation into the matter by filing a closure report that declared the “culprits” in the 2010 killing of teenager Tufail Mattoo as ‘untraced’. The family later filed a protest petition demanding a reinvestigation into the case.
In December 2012, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Jammu and Kashmir police which had first investigated the case also closed the investigation by declaring the ‘culprits’ untraced.
Tufail Mattoo, then seventeen years old, lost his life after he was hit by a teargas shell on 11 June, 2010, near Gani Memorial Stadium in Sheher-e-Khaas when he was returning home after taking tuition. The teargas shell, according to witnesses, was fired by policemen on duty.
“It is an open-and-shut case. Eyewitnesses deposed before the court and identified the two killer policemen. Shamefully, the culprits have not even been touched yet. Democracy now is the police, by the police and for the police,” the grieving father added.

 

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