Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the state government to inform it within two weeks whether sanction has been accorded for the prosecution of the two army officers accused of killing a Ganderbal man in custody.
The army officers— Major Sunny Kurian, now a Colonel, and Major MR Nunia, then officiating adjutant of 5 Rashtriya Rifles camped at Duderhama, Ganderbal— along with a counter-insurgent Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh alias Muma Ikhwani have been accused of killing of one Mohammad Sultan Bhat in 1999.
While Muma lkhwani, a resident of Checki Sehpora, Ganderbal, presented himself before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ganderbal, on 18 December last year, Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police submitted before a bench of Justice Tashi Rabstan that steps have been initiated to seek the prosecution of the army officers.
The Crime Branch stated that the case diary along with relevant records have been processed to seek sanction for prosecution of the accused duo.
“The State Crime Branch Headquarters after scrutinizing the records of the CD file has submitted the same to the Director General of Police, J&K, Jammu vide letter on 30 November 2015,” Additional Advocate General, RA Khan said and sought two weeks time to present latest status.
Granting two weeks time to the state government, the court directed it to file the latest status report indicating as to whether prosecution sanction of the army officers has been accorded or not. While posting the case for further consideration from week commencing April 11, the court also directed Assistant Solicitor General of India SA Makroo to file the status report within two weeks.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Khatija Begum, seeking identification and punishment of those behind kidnapping and custodial killing of her son.
She has also sought the implementation of the recommendations of SHRC directing the government to reopen the case filed under FIR No. 158 of 1999 registered in Police Station Ganderbal.
The SHRC had recommended reinvestigation into the matter and had also directed government to pay ex-gratia relief of Rs one lakh to the affected family. However, the government had not implemented the recommendations.
After the police investigation, the family had approached the Director General of Police (DGP) with the request of carrying out a fresh investigation into the case. The DGP referred the case to the Crime Branch.
In its report, the Crime Branch had said that Mohammad Sultan was picked up by 5 RR stationed at Ganderbal from his residence during the intervening night of September 19/20, 1999. He was later killed.
In one of the previous status reports, the crime branch informed the High Court that Nunia and Kurian had killed Bhat.
“During the course of the investigation, brother and mother of the deceased (Bhat) have maintained in their statements that deceased was picked up by one Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh alias Muma Ikhwani,” the crime branch said.