HC directs ID parade of ITBP’s IG, CMO in Anantnag youth’s custodial disappearance

Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed identification parade of an Inspector General and a Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) accused of abduction and subsequent disappearance of a youth from Verinag, Anantnag district in 2001, within two weeks.
Hearing a contempt petition filed by Ghulam Hussain Koka, father of the victim Muhammad Ashraf Koka, a bench of Justice Hasnain Massodi also directed the IGP Inder Singh Negi (then Commandant), and Dr P S Gunjiyal (then CMO), to appear before investigation officer (IO) so that identification parade is fixed and “the investigation that is already delayed, is concluded without any further delay.”
The direction followed perusal of the record by the bench which revealed that the IO on May 3, 2012 appeared before the court and stated that the accused in the disappearance of Ashraf were identified.
The IO had also submitted to take the investigation to its logical end, the accused—11 ITBP personnel—were to be identified by the witnesses in a test identification parade.
It was further stated, court observed, that (then Commandant) of the 10 battalion ITBP was not cooperating with the investigating agency which had approached Chief Judicial Magistrate Anantnag with a request to issue warrants against the identified personnel so as to secure their presence.
Some of the accused named by the witnesses have since appeared and test identification parade has been conducted, the court observed.
“However their mere appearance before (IO) would not satisfy the mandate of orders passed from time to time since May 3, 2012,” the court said and the passed direction for identification parade and appearance of Negi and Gunjiyal before the IO.
According to the family, Ashraf was picked up by the ITBP personnel from his residence, Kokagund Verinag, on October 27, 2001 at 7:30 pm on the ruse to guide them in the village. That was the last time when the family saw Ashraf.
The family had unsuccessfully tried to get a missing complaint filed in the police station in Anantnag, and it was only after the court intervention that a complaint was lodged as FIR no. 96/2001 U/S 364, 302, 201 RPC and 7/25 Arms Act.
Later father of the victim, disappointed by the mode and manner of investigation in FIR, approached High Court.
As per police, 11 ITBP personnel suspected to be involved in the youth’s disappearance, have been identified by the IO as Inder Singh Negi (then Commandant), R S Rana, Dr P S Gunjiyal, Inspector Rajinder Singh, SIs Partap Singh and Ram Pratab, Head Constables Hukum Singh and Ajeet Kumar, Sunil Joshi, and JCOs R S Chouhan and Mishra.
One of 11 personnel, Hukum Singh, is stated to have been already identified by the witnesses for his involvement in the arrest of the youth after he and his colleague Ajeet Kumar were paraded before the witnesses on May 5, 2007.
The then second-in-command of the unit, R S Rana, has retired and is currently residing in Himachal Pradesh while Rajinder Singh has also retired and is presently in Uttarakhand and SI Pratap Singh died on August, 4, 2004.