The J–K government has reinstated four police personnel suspended in the 2009 Shopian double murder case eight months after the CBI gave a clean chit to them and described the deaths as a drowning case.
The mysterious deaths of two Shopian residents, Asiya Jan and Neelofar Jan, on May 31, 2008 sparked off a spate of violent protests.
The demonstrations immediately turned into major pro-freedom rallies after the locals suspected the security forces’ hand in it and alleged rape and murder of the duo. More than 10 protesters died in a series of demonstrations. Shopian district remained shut for 40 days in protest against the deaths.
The government, led by Chief Minsiter Omar Abdullah, immediately suspended four police personnel --- SP Javaid Iqbal Mattoo, DSP Rohit Basgotra, sub-inspector Gazi Abdul Karim and inspector Muhammad Shafiq Ahmad. The locals then alleged the police were involved in shieding the culprits. The police personnel now stand reinstated.
Finally, the case was handed over to the CBI for high-level investigation. In the second week of December in 2009, the CBI produced its report before the court saying “the duo, wife and sister of Shakeel Ahmad, died due to sudden rush in a nearby stream and were washed away. The CBI ruled out rape and claimed the injury marks were due to forceful water currents and the rocks.
The Majlis Mashawarat, a group of local residents, constituted to plead the case is disappointed by the government decision. It has already rejected the CBI report.
“There has been injustice all along. Now we do not expect justice in the case now. This will not go well in the public perception,” said Muhammad Shafi Khan, spokesman of the Majlis.
Khan said it is unfair to reinstate the police personnel when the Justice Jan Commission --- instituted to investigate the case and file a report before the government --- has placed them as the accused in the case.
“We are sure the policemen were involved in the case,” said Khan.