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Captain Kohli's sister seeks independent inquiry

chandigarh Updated: May 31, 2011 21:28 IST
Sanjeev Verma
Sanjeev Verma
Hindustan Times
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Seeking response to a number of questions that remain unanswered in Shaurya Chakra awardee Captain Sumit Kohli’s mysterious death in April 2006, his sister Namrata Kohli has finally moved the Punjab and Haryana high court seeking an independent inquiry into the case.

Captain Sumit Kohli was awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the third highest peace time gallantry medal, on January 26, 2006 for his conspicuous bravery for killing four terrorists during his deputation with 18 Rashtriya Rifles battalion in Jammu and Kashmir.

He was found dead with gunshot wounds in his room in the military barracks in Lolab(Jammu and Kashmir) on April 30, 2006 just two months after being decorated with the Shaurya Chakra. As per Army authorities he had committed suicide due to personal reasons.

The petition moved by his sister, through advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, will come up for hearing before the bench headed by justice Ranjit Singh on Wednesday.

The petitioner has submitted that even Captain Kohli’s mother, Veena Kohli, had made a written representation dated August last year to the defence minister requesting that the matter be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI). In response to the representation a letter dated August 28 was received from the defence minister stating, “I have directed the Ministry to have the matter enquired urgently.”

It has been further submitted that the matter was later raised in the Parliament and during the proceedings the defence minister stated that no inquiry was required into the matter.

The petitioner has mentioned that Captain Kohli came on leave to his residence and went back on April 16, 2006 and just after 15 days his family received a telephonic message that he had committed suicide.

Adding further, it has been submitted that the pettioners father died four days after the demise of Captain Kohli. Later a letter was received by the petitioner’s family from some person who stated that Captain Kohli had been murdered and that he was a serving Army officer and had met Captain Kohli at Jammu and they had discussed many things.

It has been submitted that perusal of the said letter shows that Captain Kohli had said that he was apprehending danger from his Commanding Officer who was responsible for a number of fake encounters and other illegal acts, along with some other officials.

The petition mentions that the family was not provided any inquiry report about the death of Captain Kohli inspite of their best efforts by the defence ministry. It has also been submitted that when the family moved an RTI even then the information was denied stating that RTI was not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir.

Consequently, the petitioner and her family moved the Delhi high court after which the inquiry report was provided. The petitioner has also attached the photographs taken at the time of death of Captain Kohli which show that he was shot from point blank, it has been mentioned.

Adding further it has been submitted that three emply cells were found near his body whereas there was only one entry wound on the left side of the chin. “However, it is not understandable as to how three emply cells were found at the place, if there was only one shot injury. This makes the whole story doubtful,” reads the petition.

Earlier, in a representation made by petitioner’s mother to the defence minister some important and doubtful facts were mentioned. It was submitted that there were two medical reports which were self contradictory. As per one report the entry would was on left side of the chin and as per the other report the entry would was on right side of the chin.