The Jammu and Kashmir High Court ordered the exhumation of the bodies of two women who were raped and murdered on May 30.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on July 6 to ask that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be repealed. This comes at a time when the atmosphere in Kashmir is tense with the murders and also the killing of four youths when security forces opened fire on protesters.
Sources said Abdullah’s meeting with Singh would focus on how the AFSPA was introduced in July 1990, a time that does not even remotely resemblance the present situation in the Valley, which is mostly free from terrorist violence and the presence of paramilitary forces would only provoke the situation.
The AFSPA grants security personnel immunity from prosecution even if they kill people in the course of duty. It also allows them to arrest suspects without warrants and enter and search any premises to make such arrests.
On Saturday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice, Barin Gosh and Justice Yaqoob Mir directed a fresh post-mortem of Asiya Jan, 17, and Nelofar, 22 — whose bodies were found by a stream in Shopian — to be conducted under the supervision of the principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar.
The court has directed the Registrar Judicial to seek prior consent of the women’s family for exhuming the bodies.
The court also appointed an Inspector General of Police (CID) Farooq Ahmed as head of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the case and directed the team to conduct the interrogation and narco-analysis of four police officers who were suspended for allegedly destroying evidence.
Similar tests have been ordered for two key witnesses — Ghulam Mohi-u-din Malik and Manzoor Ahmad Pompri.
The SIT has also been asked to prepare a list of civilians, policemen and paramilitary personnel who live or were present in the area on the day the two women were killed.
The HC has also directed the police to find nomads who had pitched their tents near the scene of occurrence on the fateful night. The nomads had reportedly disappeared before the bodies were found.