The Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has recommended the government to lodge an FIR against army’s 323 Grenadiers for “killing a civilian—Mohammad Sadiq of Thuro village in Mahore tehsil of Jammu’s Udhampur district, in custody in 2003”.
The Single Bench of the SHRC comprising of Justice M Y Kawoosa, chairperson, disposing off the case today also recommended to register cases against two police officers—Ajit Singh then SDPO Mahore and Amit Sangra, then in-charge police Chowki Arnas for “ not only failing to protect the life of an innocent subject but for trying to hushing the matter”.
The SHRC recommended the government to pay Rs one Lakh and government job under the provisions of SRO 43 to Zainab Begum—widow of Mohammad Sadiq.
Zainab Begum on February 7, 2005 complained to the State Human Rights Commission that her husband Mohammad Sadiq was picked up by the soldiers of 323 Grenadiers in April 2003 and kept in custody. He was tortured in custody and army personnel applied electric shocks to him. Sadiq’s body was later found hanging in the house of one Faqir Mohammad near the army camp.
“While going through the material available on record and enquiry reports of additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Udhampur, police reports and rejoinder filed by the complainant”, Justice Kawoosa recommended the government to pay Rs one Lakh and government job under the provisions of SRO 43 to the widow of the slain person—Zainab Begum.
“It is further recommended that the police be directed to register case against concerned army officers (of 323 Grenadiers). Cases be also registered against SDPO Mahore Ajit Singh and then in-charge police chowki Arnas—Amit Sangra for not only failing to protect the life of an innocent subject but also trying to hushing up the matter”, Justice Kawoosa said.
The indictment of the troops by the State Human Rights Commission is yet another embarrassment for the government as also security agencies for “killing civilians in custody”. The recent exposure of civilians killed in fake encounters in Ganderbal has pushed the security forces, involved in combating militancy, to the wall and there have been widespread protest demonstrations allover the valley.
Hundreds of residents today held protest demonstrations in capital Srinagar’s Batamaloo and downtown areas against what they alleged “disappearance of civilians in the custody of security forces”. The protesters were demanding to reveal the whereabouts of those persons, who have disappeared in custody of police and security forces.