2 yrs on, no headway in Tahir Sofi case despite indictment of soldiers

Srinagar: Despite a probe indicting army in the killing of a young scholar of Baramulla, no headway has been made in the case even after two years.
Tahir, 27, son of Ghulam Rasool Sofi, of Ganai Hamam, was killed while another youth Muhammad Abbas Lalu was injured when soldiers of 46 Rashtriya Rifles fired upon a group of youth near the Old Town Baramulla on March 5, 2013.
The killing sparked anti-India demonstrations across the Valley, prompting the administration to order a time bound probe.
“Even warning shots by the troops of 46 RR could have scared away the youth. Instead, they opened fire that resulted in the loss of one innocent life. There seems to be no valid reason in the action taken by personnel of 46 RR resulting in the death of Sofi and injury to Lalu who has been rendered handicapped for life,” Additional District Magistrate, Baramulla, Manzoor Ahmad Qadri had written in his report.
On Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Talat Parvez said he had joined recently and needs to check the records about the case.
Tahir’s younger brother Junaid said on Wednesday that the civil officials had told them that the case has been sent to the Home Department for further action.
However, “so far we have not been informed about the progress, if any, in the case,” Junaid told Kashmir Reader.
“My brother was killed in broad daylight. His killing took place in front of dozens of people. But instead of delivering justice, most of the witnesses to the case were harassed and charged with troublemaking,” he said.
Junaid said that despite the probe concluding that the soldiers resorted to unprovoked firing killing his brother, “delay tactics have been adopted to deny justice to us.”
“The delay is deliberate. Soldiers kill innocents, then government orders a probe. It’s a cock and bull story we have been witnessing for a long time,” Junaid said.
Junaid also lashed out at “pro-India parties” for “their hypocrisy”. He said that when PDP was in opposition, it spared no moment to slam the Omar Abdullah government over human rights abuses.
“Now when PDP is in power, is it not their responsibility to ensure that justice is done to the victims’ families? Were they doing petty politics over the killings of innocents in Kashmir?” he said.
Tahir’s killing also saw the NC working president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressing his helplessness at the floor of the assembly.
“While sitting on this chair of the chief minister, I am feeling helpless when my people are being killed. These are my people and I belong to this state. What reply I will give to people?” Abdullah had said.
“I can’t do politics and can only raise voice against the killing. I will knock every door to see that the family gets justice.”

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