Commission’s Report on Shopian Murder Points to Police Involvement

In its interim report submitted on Sunday, the one member judicial commission constituted to probe the alleged murder and rape of two Shopian women has suggested action against police officials for “destruction of evidence” and also pointed the “needle of suspicion” to their involvement in the crime.

According to sources, Justice (retd) Muzzafar Jan, in his report, alleged that Superintendent of Police Javed Iqbal, Deputy SP and Station House Office had “tried to destroy evidence” in the case.

The commission, silent on the cause of death though, said “…the way police tried to destroy evidence, finger of suspicion falls on them.”

Sources said that Justice Jan also recommended action against some civil and medical officials of Shopian district for laxity in investigation into rape and murder of of Neelofar Jan and her 18-year-old sister-in-law Asiya Jan on the intervening night of May 29 and 30.

Commission, sources said, opined that conduct of some key officials in this case had led to loss of crucial evidences. The interim report name among these officials doctors who conducted post most on the victims and an official of the Forensic Science Laboratory etc.

The Commission, which was appointed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on June 3, submitted the interim report to the state government after examining more than a dozen witnesses, including then Superintendent of Police Javid Iqbal, doctors who conducted the post mortem and an official of the FSL Srinagar.

The commission had grilled the then SP for nearly six hours spread over two days to explain his conduct in the case. He was questioned as to why he did not attend to the case personally when the bodies of the victims were recovered and did not register an FIR in the case.

The FSL official was asked to explain why he did not counter-sign the report of the samples taken from the victims prepared by his laboratory, which was mandatory for processing the reports. The official had reportedly not put his signatures on the report for at least two days, thus delaying the investigations.

The government transferred the Deputy Commissioner Shopian within three days of the incident while a week later the SP was also transferred.

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