Srinagar: A court in Ganderbal has directed police to set up a special investigations team to investigate the murder of one Ghulam Mohammad Lone by government sponsored Ikhwan militiamen 18 years ago.
In a statement, Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) said Lone was killed by members of the Ikhwan led by Nazir Ahmad Lone alias Nazir Gurra on 23 June 1999.
On 14 March 2016, it said, court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Ganderbal directed senior superintendent of police Ganderbal to constitute a special investigation team and carry out proper investigation into the FIR no 33/1999 registered at Kangan Police Station Kangan in the case.
The court has directed the police to submit the reports before the court. The case is next listed before for 30 March 2017, it said.
Lone, a forest department ranger, was killed by Gurra and other members of Ikhwan for protesting against illegal cutting of trees in the area.
“While an FIR was filed, the police did not carry out investigations. After various efforts before the local administration and police, Abdul Qayoom Lone, the son of the victim, filed a writ petition before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in 2015,” it said.
Before the High Court, Station House Officer Kangan police station had submitted a status report that the case had been closed as untraced on 29 September 1999 and submitted before the court on 20 March 2001.
Subsequently, the High Court in 2016 disposed the petition and directed victim’s son to approach the lower court for relief.
“But as noted in the recent court order, in reality no closure report was ever filed before the lower court and the SHO Kangan Police Station misinformed the High Court,” it said.
“This case illustrates the various levels of obfuscations of the state to ensure impunity for state forces and their functionaries, such as the Ikhwan, accused of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The court serves as another marker in the struggle for justice in this case,” a JKCCS spokesperson added.