SRINAGAR: Disclosures made by forensic experts in the murder case of Peerbagh youth Owais Bashir Malik have come as shocker for his family. The family believed the police theory till this newspaper carried an exclusive report on the findings of the forensic team that examined the body of the victim after it was recovered by police from the city outskirts. The forensic report contradicts what the police told the family and media about the gruesome murder.
It seems the family of the victim was kept in the dark about the status of the body when it was recovered by police. “Police never told us that there were burn marks on his (Owais’s) body. Neither did they tell us that his ribs were fractured,” family members of the victim told Kashmir Reader.
Bashir Ahmad Malik, Owais’s father said, “No one from my family saw the body. We couldn’t muster courage to do so. Police took full advantage of this and they told us what suited them.” Though some relatives had told the family that the body bore some burn marks on the thighs, they believed the police more than their kin. “We believed whatever police told us. We were told that Owais was hit on the head and his body had been devoured by dogs,” Bashir said. The family came to know about the findings of the forensic team only after going through the report carried by this newspaper.
Forensic experts found burn marks on Owais’s thighs. He had fractured ribs and some of his veins were also cut. And, most importantly, the report ruled out that dogs had devoured parts of the body. “We have lost faith in the police now,” the family said.
After Owais’s murder, his family maintained silence. Neither did they protest nor issued any statement to the media. The reason? The police had directed them to keep mum.
“Deputy Inspector General of Police and Senior Superintendent of Police, Budgam came to our place and assured us that they are tracking the case .They also took a promise from us that no one from our family would protest and make statements before the media. They said if this happened, the case won’t be solved,” the family claimed.
Owais went missing on 12th of January this year at around 3.45 pm. When he did not return till late in the night, the family members started searching for him. “We went to the railway track as well. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from our residence. But we didn’t see anybody there,” says one of the cousins of the victim on condition of anonymity.
“We again went to the railway track on 13th and 14th of January and showed a picture of Owais to a railway constable. The constable expressed his ignorance. The same constable was later arrested by police along with two others for dragging his (Owais) body to a deserted place,” he added.
After the forensic disclosures, the family has now started questioning the police’s version. “Owais was 6.1 feet tall and weighed 80 pounds. If Ishaan (the accused) would have hit him, Owais must have retailed. Why there were no wounds on Ishaan’s body and why did Owais, a healthy boy, not fight it out?” the family asks. The family is also questioning why the police “lied to them”.
“If forensic experts found fatal bleeding as the cause of death, why did the police mislead us by saying he died of a head injury,” the family asked. On the other hand, Ishaan’s family too is not happy with the police investigation.
Abdul Majeed, Ishaan’s father says, “On 12th January, Ishaan was home for the whole day. On the 13th, my wife’s uncle passed away in Bandipora. My wife couldn’t go there so she sent Ishaan instead. And the next day, police arrested Ishaan from Bandipora.”
“The police told me that Ishaan was posing as a girl and was having an ‘affair’ with Owais for over a year but they never met. The day they did meet, they had a fight and Ishaan hit him on the head and he died,” Majeed said.
“I could not buy this story. In today’s times, a guy who gets in touch with a girl on the phone would try to confirm who she is the very next day. Police said they had also had phone sex and were doing it regularly. If they had been doing it, how did they resist meeting each other? And how can they blindly trust each other?” asks Majeed.
For nine days after his arrest, no one from the family was allowed to meet Ishaan. “He was taken to Cargo camp, then Humhama police station and finally sent to central jail, Srinagar,” Majeed added.
“When I met my son and questioned him, he told me that Owais had called him for a meeting, but he refused. Ishaan also told me that after police arrested him, he was taken to the railway track where Owais had been killed. They made Ishaan walk there and took a video of him,” Majeed says.
“My son is innocent. I am trying to convince police but they don’t listen to me. My son had weak eyesight and both his eyes had been operated on in May, last year. He cannot kill anyone and that too so brutally,” Majeed claims.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Ghulam Hassan Bhat, who addressed the media after claiming to have cracked the case, didn’t answer calls from this reporter.