Owais murder: Family to launch a stir if denied forensic report

SRINAGAR: The relatives of an engineering student whose mutilated body was found near a railway track in central district Budgam four months ago have accused the police of delaying production of forensic report before the court of law. They say the police’s lackadaisical approach is deliberate and have threatened to launch a stir if the report was not produced in a couple of days.
Body of Owais Bashir Malik, 22, was found near a railway track in Peerbagh area in the outskirts of Srinagar on January 14. The body bore torture marks and a large portion of his chest skin was peeled off as if with a butcher’s knife. Police later said that Malik was killed by a person who had befriended him on phone posing as a girl. On the fateful day, the duo met and entered into a scuffle that led to Malik’s death. The accused has been charge-sheeted in a court in Budgam.
“It is quite intriguing that policies not presenting final copy of the forensic report in the court. If they don’t do it in next two days, we will launch a stir and block the airport road,” Owais’s father Bashir Ahmad Malik told Kashmir Reader. He said the family has first right to get the copy of the forensic report.
Sources said that police had raised several questions on the forensic report submitted earlier and reported by this newspaper. However, the department of forensics and toxicology at the government medical college answered the queries.
“Police had raised three or four queries about dog bites on the body, timing of death and the details about the marks found on Owais’s thighs,” a forensic expert, who was part of the team that conducted autopsy, told Kashmir Reader on condition of anonymity.
“We clearly rule out the involvement of dog in the whole case. The death has occurred 8-10 hours after he has been beaten up and tortured.
The forensic report also said that the marks on the thighs were of torture and not of dragging,” the doctor said.
The preliminary forensic report listed bleeding as cause of death and mentioned torture marks on Owais’s thighs. The report said the victim’s right ear, right arm and index finger had been chopped off, ribs were fractured, veins cut and a large patch on the chest skinned off as if with a butchers knife. The clavicle bone of the victim was also missing.
A month ago, the final autopsy report compiled at GMC was sent to the forensic experts at district hospital Budgam who too were part of autopsy team. They in turn sent it to the Special Investigation Team set u by the police to probe the case. The team mysteriously held the report and blocked its submission before the court inordinately.
Malik approached the medical superintendent of the Budgam district hospital to get a copy of forensic report but he plainly refused to oblige. The family later approached the district court for the copy but the police did not submit it on the first hearing of the case on April 4.
On April 17, the court assured the victim’s family that it would write to the Principal GMC to submit a copy of forensic report. However, the GMC authorities say that they have not received any communication from the court in this regard.
“We have not received any direction from the court yet. We cannot reveal the contents of forensic report to anyone unless we have an order from the court,” Principal GMC, Dr Qaiser Ahmad said.
Sources said that forensic experts have answered all queries from the police and there was no hitch in producing the report before the court.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (central Kashmir range) avoided answer on police’s delay in submitting forensic report and in turn questioned the intent of this reporter to follow the proceedings of the murder case. “I don’t understand why the press reporter and family members of Owais are after the case. This is a case of murder and police is doing their investigation,” he said.
“We have presented the challan before the court. There were some queries which have been answered,” he said. He refused to say as to when the final report would be submitted before the court. “I cannot tell you this,” he said.
Deputy Superintendent of police, Syed Fayaz who is the Investigation officer of the murder case didn’t answer calls despite repeated attempts.