Shopian killings: CoI allows CRPF to file reply by Jan 18

Srinagar: The one-man judicial commission probing the killing of four civilians in two separate incidents of firing by paramilitary CRPF in Shopian district in September last year, on Wednesday granted the CRPF time, till January 18, to file its reply about the incidents.
As the Commission headed by Justice (Retd) ML Kaul began the sitting at Circuit House Shopian, the counsel for the government of India on behalf of the CRPF sought some time for production of counter report.
As per an official handout, the counsel submitted that he could not produce the reply as it could not vet by his legal cell till date.
“At his request time was granted and was asked to file the counter on January 18,” the CoI said.
The commission also asked the petitioners to produce their evidence on next hearing date on January 18 at Circuit House, Shopian.
The commission has already received four petitions regarding the killings on September 7 and 11.
On October 4, the government had appointed the CoI for inquiring into the circumstances that led to firing by CRPF at Gangran, Shopian.
The commission has also been tasked to ascertain whether the slain men were involved in militancy, besides fixing responsibility of the incident.
While four persons were killed on September 7, another youth was killed by the CRPF when a procession demanding withdrawal of the CRPF camp at Gagran was fired upon by the paramilitary forces on September 11.
Justice Kaul, who discharged his duties as a judge J&K High court from October 14, 1991 to October 31, 1994, was initially asked to complete the investigation within a month.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had on the second day of the Assembly’s autumn session announced the judicial probe into the killings. Omar had supported the police stand on the incident that one of the four persons killed in the firing was a “non-local militant” while antecedents of other three show that they had no militancy-related records.
The trio included Tauseef Ahmad Bhat, of Baba Mohalla Shopian, Muhammad Yousuf Sofi, of Durpora, Zainapora, Shopian, and Tariq Ahmad Mir, of Wukai, Kulgam.
The judicial commission was announced after massive protests erupted in the Kashmir Valley.