Court orders probe into death of Bemina woman from teargas smoke

Court orders probe into death of Bemina woman from teargas smoke

SHO Bemina refused to file FIR, court takes ‘serious note’

Srinagar: A trial court at Srinagar on Saturday directed the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Srinagar to appoint a police officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent to investigate under what circumstances the death of Fahmeeda, resident of Bemina Srinagar, took place on account of excessive smoke during teargas shelling that took place in the locality on 9 August, 2019 – three days after Article 370 abrogation. The court questioned why the police didn’t register any FIR in the incident despite being approached by the family of Fahmeeda.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar ordered, “So, we direct that the investigator to be appointed by the SSP, Srinagar, shall submit a status report after every 20 days before court for perusal.”

The trial court recorded that the victim’s family despite asking police for registration of FIR, the SHO of police station Bemina refused to file an FIR, thus constraining the family to approach the court.

“The concerns of the petitioner family that the reason behind the death needs to be addressed and investigation is required to take into account all the subsequent developments, thereof the areas of investigation that the police concerned didn’t adhere to has to be revisited under the direction of this court,” the court said.

The court said that the refusal of the SHO to register an FIR needs to be taken note of seriously.

The court noted that in cases where the magistrate finds that the police has not done its duty of investigating the case at all, or has not done it satisfactorily, the magistrate has the power to issue a direction to the police to do the investigation properly and can monitor the same.

“So, therefore there is no harm in registering an FIR into the incident and investigate the circumstances under which the death took place,” the court recorded.

Earlier, a plea moved by the victim’s husband through counsel Shah Faisal and Ehsan Javid had sought a direction from court to SHO police station Bemina to investigate the cause of the death.

The court was informed that on 9 August, 2019, a protest broke out at around 6:00 PM in Firdous Colony Bemina and adjoining areas against the revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India.

The security personnel responded with heavy tearsmoke shelling directly targeting the house of the petitioner without any reason, the petitioners submitted. In the shelling, they said, the windowpanes of the house broke and the deceased who was doing household chores inhaled excessive smoke.

“The deceased started feeling breathlessness and choking due to excessive inhalation of smoke. She was taken to hospital but on the way, the deceased was choking with blood oozing from her mouth. Ultimately she died due to sudden cardiac pulmonary arrest due to acute lung injury caused by toxic gases,” the petition states.



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