SRINAGAR: To test their theory that murdered engineering student Owais Bashir Malik’s chest had been bitten off by dogs, the police had slaughtered a sheep and placed it at the ‘spot of the crime’. The carcass, the police chargesheet says, had been split open in the same manner as the body of the murdered student.
“Immediately after throwing the carcass on the railway track, dogs came and tore it up the way Owais’s body had been mauled,” the charge-sheet reads.
The chargesheet says the dogs had started with the “chest area of the dead animal”, like that of Owais’s.
Budgam senior superintendent of police Syed Fayaz said, “This was part of our investigation. We slaughtered the sheep to prove that we were not wrong. Whatever we have to say we have to corroborate it with facts. This is what we have done. The canines had pretty much bitten off the sheep in the same fashion as they had Owais’s body,” he said.
But the doctors who conducted autopsy on Owais’s body rubbish the police experiment to arrive at a “preconceived idea”.
“This is all rubbish. The blood that drips off the carcass of a slaughtered animal will naturally attract dogs. But we had told the police that very day that this experiment cannot be connected with Owais’s murder,” a doctor said on condition of anonymity as he apprehends harassment.
The doctors said that police’s ‘dog theory’, even if considered authentic for argument’s sake, does not explain torture marks on Owais’s body that had been pointed out in the autopsy report.
“Did the canines torture Owais? How does police explain the grievous wounds in his shoulder?” the doctors said.
The preliminary post mortem report, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, does not mention the dogs at all.
The report says that that the victim’s right ear, right arm and index finger had been chopped off, ribs fractured, veins cut and a large patch of skin on the chest cut as if with a butcher’s knife.
And importantly the report in the very beginning mentions that the body has been subjected to torture. “And his clavicle bone was missing,” the report adds.
Owais went missing on the evening of January 12, and the next day family filed a missing report at Humhama Police Station. On January 14, body of Owais was recovered on the railway track near Humhama.
The police constituted a committee and on fast-track basis claimed to have solved the case. On January 19, Deputy Inspector General of Police (central Kashmir range) Ghulam Hassan Bhat addressed a press conference claiming that Owais was murdered by his “friend”.
“Owais was in a relationship with a boy (Ishaan Majeed) who was impersonating as a girl (Umaira) before him. Both were in a very intimate relationship for a year but they had never met. And on the fateful day on Owais’s insistence both decided to meet. But after learning that Umaira was actually a boy, Owais got angry and both had a scuffle. Eventually Ishaan pushed Owais on the railway-track, who suffered fatal head injury due to the fall. Ishaan had fled from the spot after he found that Owais was not responding to his kicks,” Bhat had said.
On January 14, the accused Ishaan was arrested from Bandipora. Ishaan had gone to Bandipora on January 13 to attend a function at his relatives’ place.
Ishaan’s relatives say that two police constables brought him to the Cargo Camp of police in Ishaan’s cousin’s car. One of the police personnel was driving the car, and the other two cops were sitting on the back seat with Ishaan.
But on the charge sheet police says they arrested Ishaan on January 19.
The register number 2 of Police Station Bandipora nowhere mentions the time, day and date of Ishan’s arrest. Neither there is any mention of the date of the arrest in police post Humhama or the police station Budgam, which violates Supreme Court orders, sources said.
The charge-sheet itself had been submitted in District Court Budgam after more than 60 days, which is the deadline the apex court had set for filing charge-sheet in the subordinate courts.
‘Cops violated SC detention rules’
There are guidelines to be followed in all cases of arrest or detention till legal provisions are made on behalf of the detained person
“The police officer carrying out arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest and such memo shall be attested by at least one witness, who may either be a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be countersigned by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest,” a guideline reads in the 1997 Supreme Court Cases (Cri) 92 D.K Basu versus State of West Bengal.
Ishaan was interrogated at various places. First he was taken to Cargo camp, then Humhama police post and then to police station Budgam before he was lodged in Central Jail. His family says that for nine days they had no idea where Ishaan had been kept.
“No one was allowed to meet him. And this was one more violation of the court rule,” a family member told Kashmir Reader.
The police also did not inform anyone from Ishaan’s family or acquaintances about his whereabouts for several days. Rule 3 of the Supreme Court case (cri) 92 says, “A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at that particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee.”
The police in the charge sheet have also mentioned the call details. The police says, “In 2 months out of 1461 days, they would spend 712 hours on phone, which means they would spend 12hours on phone per day.”
Owais’es father Bashir Ahmad Malik said, “We don’t believe the story of police anymore. They have misguided us, and now we are no more interested in what they are saying and what they are doing. There story looks as if it is a piece of fiction”, he said.