The Jammu and Kashmir government has not revoked the suspension of four police officers of Shopian more than three months after they got a clean chit from the CBI in the case involving the death of two women under mysterious circumstances.
Neither Law Minister Ali Mohammed Sagar nor DGP Kuldeep Khoda were willing to say anything on revocation of the suspensions. But senior officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the officers were not being reinstated due to “political reasons”.
They said “certain elements” in the government feel that any such move would trigger street protests and turn public anger against the National Conference-Congress coalition government.
A senior police officer who took part in the probe before it was handed over to the CBI, told HT that they were under constant pressure to “get something against the officers”, including Shopian Superintendent of Police Javed Mattoo.
“All our pleas that there was nothing against the officers were rebuffed,” he said.
The deaths of the Shopian women a day after they went missing sparked widespread protests in the Kashmir Valley.
After the bodies of Nelofar Jan (22) and her sister-in-law Asiya Jan (17) were found near a stream outside Shopian town, 50 km north of Srinagar, on May 30 last year, local people had alleged they had been raped and murdered.
The controversy surrounding the deaths intensified after a doctor who conducted the post-mortems on the women admitted having fabricated their vaginal swabs, which could have established if they had been raped prior to death.
The National Conference government headed by Omar Abdullah had also constituted a probe by a retired judge of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court. The Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan commission had concluded the women had been raped and murdered and had cast doubts on the role of the police but did not identify the culprits.
Subsequently, a public outcry over the deaths compelled the state government to hand the investigation over to the CBI, which exhumed the bodies and re-examined them. The CBI finally submitted a report to the high court, saying that the women had neither been raped nor murdered but died due to drowning.