Srinagar: At least a dozen people have recorded their statements before the enquiry officer probing the killing of a teenager by government forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district last month.
Farhat Ahmad Dar, 18, son of Ghulam Rasool Dar, of Shah Gund, Hajin was shot in the chest by the forces near the Higher Secondary School, Naidkhai on March 14, when the area was witnessing anti-India protests over the alleged highhandedness of the forces.
A Class 12th student, Farhat succumbed to his injuries on way to the Public Health Centre (PHC) Pattan. His death ignited protests across the north Kashmir district leaving over a dozen people injured. In the damage control mode, the district authorities announced a probe and pledged strict action against the guilty.
“The probe is in progress. We had communicated to the eyewitnesses to depose before the commission and get their statements recorded. People are still coming forward and their statements are being recorded to take the impartial probe to its logical conclusion,” the enquiry officer and Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Bandipora, Nazir Ahmad Baba, told Kashmir Reader.
Baba said he was following due procedure to look into the circumstances that led to the killing of the teenager and was hopeful that the probe will be completed soon and the findings will be submitted to government for further action.
“The probe was delayed by a few days due to unconducive atmosphere in the town. We had to go to the spot to get firsthand account of the events. However, people are deposing before the commission,” he said.
When asked if the forces personnel have been questioned, Baba said that every witness to the incident will be examined and re-examined. “We want the probe to be completed as soon as possible,” he added.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that at least a dozen eyewitnesses have deposed before the enquiry commission and narrated the sequence of events that led to the killing of the teenager.
After Farhat’s killing, a police spokesman had issued a handout saying that the teenager was killed “when security personnel had fired in the air to disperse an unruly mob that attacked their vehicle and tried to set ablaze.”
However, rebuffing the police claims, senior National Conference leader and the Minister for Higher Education Mohammad Akbar Lone had accused police of killing the teenager with “excessive use of force”. Lone, who represents Sumbal constituency of the district, had also threatened to resign to ensure punishment to the guilty.