Month on, no headway in rape-murder case
It has been a month since two young women were found dead under mysterious circumstances in a stream outside Shopian town, 50 km south of Srinagar, on May 30 but little headway has been made in bringing the guilty to book.
Angry residents of Shopian had alleged that 17-year-old Asiya Jan and her sister-in-law, Nelofar Jan (22) were raped and killed by security personnel camping in the area. The unit was soon moved out of Shopian in the face of public outrage.
Post-mortem examinations by the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) confirmed that the women were raped.
Amid demonstrations in Shopian and other places in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on June 1 ordered a judicial inquiry into the deaths even as he claimed that initial reports did not indicate rape or murder.
He said he was ordering probe as there was a “trust deficit” between the people and security forces. “No doctor is willing to confirm rape but people will not accept this. That is why I have ordered a probe by a retired judge to be completed in one month,” he told mediapersons in Srinagar.
The statement added fuel to the fire, provoking not only the people of Shopian but all of Kashmir to observe a shutdown for eight days.
“The statement meant that the government had concluded the probe even before ordering it,” said Irshad Ahmad, a university professor.
But the FSL report, which was made public on June 7, confirmed rape, forcing the police to file a case to that effect. A few days later a murder case was also registered.