Family demands access to official inquiry report
Srinagar: The J&K High Court has issued notice to the government and police authorities seeking their response on a plea filed by the family of Irfan Ahmad Dar, who was allegedly killed in police custody on the interviewing night of September 15 and 16 last year in Sopore.
The family of the deceased has moved to court seeking full details of the inquiry conducted by Additional District Magistrate into the matter which as per petitioner family has been denied to them for unknown reasons.
The petitioners stated before the court they are of reasonable belief that the inquiry report has indicted the police personnel for killing the deceased in custody and has ruled out the theory of the police that the deceased while fleeing from custody fell into a stone query resulting in his death.
As the matter came up for hearing before the Court of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, the bench issued notice to government of J&K through Commissioner Secretary, GAD department, Principal Secretary Home, SSP Sopore, SHO police station Sopore and Bomai, District Magistrate Baramulla and Additional district magistrate Baramulla.
The court sought response from the authorities by 12 May, 2021 on the matter.
The plea filed by the mother, sister and brother of the deceased Irfan through advocate Shafkat Nazir submitted before court that Dar was an ordinary shopkeeper running his Kiryana Shop at Sidiq Colony Sopore.
The plea states that at about 12:30 pm on 15 September 2020, Dar was picked up from his shop by the personnel of Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police stationed at Sopore without any rhyme or reason and without following the procedure established by law.
On the very next day, the plea mentions that the brother of the deceased namely Abdul Waheed Dar approached the Police Station Sopore with a written application with regard to incident of his brother having been lifted from his shop in broad daylight and kept in illegal custody by the personnel of SOG Sopore and FIR was also requested to be registered.
“However, the petitioners were informed that said Irfan Ahmad Dar escaped from custody in village Tujar Sharief and his body was found in a deep gauge/stone query,” the plea states.
The family of the deceased submitted that the fact of the matter is that their son was subjected to worst kind of physical torture while in illegal custody which resulted in his death and his body was thrown in a stone query and later a story was cooked up regarding the alleged escape of from custody.
It was stated that the deceased bore visible torture marks all over his body including head, chest and limbs.
“There were visible and apparent burn injuries over the body of the deceased. All this strengthens the belief of the petitioners in the fact that the deceased was tortured to death in Police custody and then a story was cooked up with regard to alleged recoveries and alleged efforts of the deceased to run away from custody,” the family submitted.
The plea further mentioned that because of the public outcry and protests by the family members of the deceased an order dated 17 September, 2020 came to be passed by the District Magistrate Baramulla under section 176 CrPC in terms whereof Additional District Magistrate was ordered to conduct a magisterial enquiry into the alleged custodial killing of the deceased so as to ascertain causes and circumstances leading to the death of the deceased.
“It was provided that the Enquiry Officer shall submit his report within a period of 20 days and already stands submitted before District Magistrate, Baramulla but has been denied to the petitioner family,” the plea said.
The family of the deceased submitted before court that they have also filed before the National Human Rights Commission and in view of the seriousness of the allegations the respondent Director General of Police (DGP) was directed to file a detailed report in the matter including inquest, post-mortem and visceral reports and the video CD of the post-mortem examination with final cause of death and the magisterial enquiry report conducted in the matter along with explanation as to why the case of custodial death was not reported to the commission within 24 hours.
“The respondent DGP has neither submitted the report nor explained his position in the matter till date even the respondent Police Department did not cooperate with the Enquiry Officer so as to sabotage the enquiry into the killing of the deceased in Police Custody,” the petitioners told court.
It was also submitted before the Court that the personnel who lifted the deceased from his shop were identified by his brother as said petitioner was also taken in illegal custody on the same day and subjected to physical and mental torture on the allegation that some unknown militants have purchased some eatables from their shop.
It was pleaded before court that the petitioners have the right to know at least the result of the enquiry and if the recommendations in the enquiry report are made in favour of the petitioners and against the respondent police department and actual culprits, the respondents are under legal obligation to implement the recommendations.
“This Court being the custodian of the rights of the citizens may show indulgence in the matter. It is submitted that the jurisdiction of this court is invoked in view of the constitutional rights guaranteed to the petitioners having been violated and the deceased having been killed in custody,” the plea prayed.