PDP in power forgot Asiya-Neelofar case: Shakeel Ahangar
SRINAGAR: This week chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will complete her first month in office. By the end of this month, the Shopian town in south Kashmir will remember two women, Asiya and her sister-in-law Nilofer, on their seventh anniversary.
Their alleged rape and murder kept the Valley on the boil for about three months. Mehbooba was at the forefront of agitations against the then National Conference-Congress government led by Omar Abdullah, demanding justice for Asiya and Nilofar.
Shakeel Ahanger, brother of Asiya and husband of Neelofer, told Kashmir Reader that PDP has been protesting against the double murder and demanding action against perpetrators of the crime.
“During the election campaign they (PDP leaders) promised action against the killers if voted to power,” Ahanger said.
“But since they (PDP) came to power, they did nothing. Mehbooba has twice visited us and promised action. Her party workers have been consistently in touch with me before the party formed the government. But after it came to power I never saw anybody,” he said.
Ahanger said that it was on Mehbooba’s insistence that the police had registered an FIR in the case.
The bodies of unmarried 17-year-old Asiya and her pregnant 22-year-old sister-in-law Nilofar were recovered from a stream on 30 May 2009, a night after they went missing on way to home from their orchard on May 29 evening. The bereaved family accused the Indian forces of the crime.
Amidst anti-government protests, the state government had on 3 June 2009 appointed a commission headed by retired Justice Muzaffar Jan to investigate into the case. The panel submitted a 400-page report to the government, in which it called for more investigations into the role of Indian forces.
Two months later, on 12 August 2009, the state government handed over the case to the CBI that described the twin deaths as “accidental drowning” and charge sheeted 13 persons including five lawyers, six doctors and two civilians (witnesses) accused of fabricating the evidence and retracting from their statements.
Ahanger asked the local PDP legislator Mohammad Yousuf Bhat to pursue his case for justice but “he counseled me to approach the Muftis directly”.