Srinagar: Suhail Ahmad Sofi, 16, a class 10 student was killed in police firing on April 18 last year during clashes between government forces and people who were protesting against Masrat Alam’s arrest and killing of a youth in Tral. The fate of the investigation ordered into his killing by then chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed shows what lies in store for the inquiry ordered into the killing of five people during the past six days by police and army.
Eyewitnesses to Sofi’s killing had told the inquiry officer that although he was not participating in the protest, he was caught by two policemen and then shot at from a close range in cold blood following an argument.
The accused, assistant sub-inspector of police Manzoor Ahmad and constable Javaid Ahmad had been suspended and booked for murder and other charges by Magam police station.
Budgam deputy commissioner Altaf Ahmad Mir, who carried out the magisterial inquiry into the killing, told Kashmir Reader, “We have completed the inquiry and submitted the report.”
Asked about the findings of his inquiry, he said, “There is nothing else I can help you with. You should check the report.”
Suhail’s brother Aijaz Ahmad Sofi said that a Special Investigation Team of police that was carrying out a parallel inquiry did not record statements of witnesses and the family members. However, Mir had recorded their statements.
Three months ago, the accused policemen were granted bail by the high court. Aijaz said that neither witnesses nor family members were present in the court the day the duo was released on bail.
“Before their release, many people approached us asking us to take money or government job as compensation but we refused and decided to fight the case in courts,” Aijaz said.
“During previous hearings the defence came up with wild tales. During one hearing their defence was that constable Javaid accidentally shot the bullet when he fell while chasing protesters. They also that said CRPF that was present at the spot had fired too and police was not sure whether Suhail fell to police or CRPF bullet,” Aijaz added.
Aijaz rues that such killings are forgotten by all except the families who have lost their dear ones.
“What happened to Wamiq Farooq’s case? Who cares now? We are still fighting and will fight till the accused are not convicted. We believe in Allah and he will do the rest,” he said.
“We have been totally neglected by the society. We approached Hurriyat and other parties but nobody provided us financial support to fight the legal battle. Nobody cares if people die on streets. What happened in Handwara and Kupwara will soon be forgotten by the people as there will be fake inquiries and everything will be normal again.”
Mufti Sayeed’s government had repeatedly said that justice will be provided to the family.
“CM is serious and has already ordered arrest of two cops,” Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, then political analyst in Mufti’s office had said.