Police closed the case as untraced despite ‘strenuous efforts’
Srinagar: The investigation wing of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has found that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had identified 15 of its officers and personnel for “indiscriminate firing” that killed 35 civilians at Hawal in 1990. The SHRC investigation could not ascertain if any action was taken against these CRPF officers and personnel.
An earlier police report submitted to the SHRC stated that the case had been closed as “untraced”. The police report stated that the CRPF personnel had fired in self-defence during the funeral procession of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq on May 21, 1990.
The SHRC’s Police Investigation Wing (PIW) in its report submitted to the SHRC following a petition filed by activist Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, said that CRPF’s Court of Inquiry (COI) headed by a board of officers consisting of MP Singh IGP NES-CRPF, NK Tiwari DIG (P) CRPF, and RK Sharma Commandant 60-BN-CRPF, held 15 CRPF personnel of 69 Battalion responsible for the indiscriminate firing. These included one DSP (deputy superintendent), two SIs (sub-inspectors), three Lance Naiks, and nine constables of CRPF.
The PIW could not find out what action was taken, if any, against these officers and personnel and whether any criminal proceedings were conducted against them or not. This was stated in the interim report submitted by the DSP, SHRC, who is also Investigation Officer (IO) of the case.
As the police had closed the case as untraced, the IO has sought fresh attempts to be made to locate the injured and submit a fresh report to the commission.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police in its report submitted to SHRC reported the case closed “no clue was found despite strenuous efforts.”
“As per the CRPF personnel, curfew was imposed on the day and during curfew hours some unknown militants fired upon the CRPF men with intention to kill them, and in retaliation CRPF fired in self-defence in which some 35 civilians died on the spot,” reads the CID report submitted to the SHRC.
Responding to the PIW report, Untoo asked the commission to direct the IG Crime to register an FIR against the 15 officers and personnel of 69 BN of CRPF named in the report.
The SHRC has now directed the IG Crime to file his response.