The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Wednesday ordered a fresh inquiry into a massacre that took place 22 years ago in Srinagar.
A division bench of the SHRC, comprising justice JA Kawoos and justice Rafiq Fida, while hearing a petition in the Gow Kadal massacre ordered a fresh inquiry by the superintendent of police of the police investigation wing of the commission.
The human rights groups, International Forum for Justice and Human Rights Forum (J&K), on May 1, 2012 filed a petition before the SHRC, seeking justice for the victim families.
Later, the SHRC issued notices to the director general of police, J&K, union home secretary, state home secretary and inspector general of police, Kashmir, to submit their reports.
"Since the petition, there were eight successive hearings where the state officials and the officials of the Government of India failed to submit their responses," said human rights activist Ahsan Untoo.
At least 50 people were allegedly killed in security forces' firing during a protest demonstration on January 21, 1990 near Gow Kadal, in heart of Srinagar. The protest was over alleged molestation of women by security forces in the area.
"For the past 22 years, the government has neither prosecuted any official involved in this gruesome massacre nor has it allowed any credible investigation," stated the petition.
The petition alleged that the police had filed an FIR in the Kral Khud police station against the protestors instead, claiming they attacked the police and CRPF personnel.
One of the accused in this case, ex-deputy inspector general Allah Baksh, who expired recently, never faced any inquiry, alleged the rights activist. The rights groups have expressed satisfaction over the fresh order of inquiry.
"We expect a free and impartial inquiry. We urge the government officials to cooperate in this fresh inquiry so that justice can be delivered to the family members of the victims and the culprits should be held accountable for their crime," said Untoo.
As Kashmir enters into a less-violent militancy phase, the cry for closure of cases of the past 22 years is gaining momentum. But the government is grappling to deliver justice given a huge number of such cases. The SHRC has also come under attack from rights group recently for its failure to deliver justice.