Srinagar: A Bandipora youth was shot dead by the men in uniform last week. Once again the police came out with its version to justify the killing and yet again the government responded by ordering yet another probe.
Demanding a white paper on probes ordered by successive governments, civil society members believe this could put an end to the detested practice.
Will probes ever help? The question has been raised time and again. The answer, however, lies in history. In 1964 a probe was ordered into mysterious disappearance of the Holy relic from Hazratbal shrine. To this day the people are waiting for the findings.
In February 1975, Peoples League activist GN Bulla was killed in custody. A probe was ordered and the findings are still awaited.
Since 1996, the `democratic’ governments have ordered as many as 150 probes into killings and rights abuses. Only one probe was taken to logical conclusion which led to arrest of a few BSF men for killing a Nishat youth, Zahid Farooq on February 5, 2010.
Dr Farooq Abdullah ruled the state for six years from 1996-2002. During this period he ordered as many as 40 probes. At one stage he seemed serious in bringing the culprits to justice but as the time passed his priorities changed. Then came a time when his government was found involved in fudging a forensic report.
Following the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora, the police claimed killing of five `foreign’ militants involved in the massacre at Panchatalan in Anantnag district. The DNA samples of the slain youth were taken to ascertain their identity when the people contested the police claims. The reports were fudged.
The leak of fudging created uproar in the Valley. Dr Farooq responded by making a suo motto statement in the Legislative Assembly. He said Justice G A Kuchey will hold inquiry into the matter and submit his report within two months. “We will convene a special session of the House and place that probe report before the members,” he added. The special session was never held.
The trend continued in the PDP-Congress coalition regime. According to official data, 71 probes were ordered by the coalition government since November 2002 to August 2008. The officials said reports had been received in 29 cases and action taken against violators in 15 cases. In the remaining 14 cases, no action had been recommended by the authorities concerned. But according to independent sources action was taken in just six cases.
A total of 43 Judicial/Magisterial/ Administrative probes were ordered during Mufti Sayed’s 3-year rule. Action was taken in 4 cases. However, the action taken against the guilty surprised and shocked the people. The guilty officers were reinstated.
Twenty-eight probes were ordered by Ghulam Nabi Azad’s government. Action was taken in 2 cases. One was stayed by a court.
Similarly six probes were ordered by NN Vohra. Nothing came out.
The incumbent Chief Minister has also ordered scores of probes. Barring the one mentioned above, all other probes have been hushed up.
The people, by and large believe that probes are ordered to quell public uproar. By ordering a probe, the government not only deflects pressure but also puts up a clean image before the people.