Investigating Officer Jammu Kashmir State Human Rights Commission Deputy Superintendent of Police Masood Ahmed Beigh in his interim report has held 15 Para-military Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel including three officers of 69 Battalion responsible for indiscriminate firing on the mourners participating in the funeral procession of Late Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq near Islamia College Srinagar here in 1990.
According to unofficial figures and eyewitnesses account more than 70 mourners were put to death by CRPF men when they fired indiscriminately on the funeral procession that was on way from SKIMS to Eidgah Martyrs Graveyard Srinagar. Shortly after the massacre, an FIR vide number 35/1990 was lodged at Police Station Nowhatta.
The Investigating Officer SHRC in his interim report has castigated the first Investigating Officer N.Sarvada, (then ASP Police Headquarters) of the case for negligence and biased investigation. “N.Sarvada who conducted the investigation of the case from May to August 1990 hasn’t recorded the statements of the eyewitnesses and he has only recorded the statements of CRPF officials who in their statements have held militants responsible for the attack on the CRPF. N.Sarvada has failed to obtain even the list of the deceased and injured persons and hasn’t taken any serious steps to investigate the case in an unbiased manner and has indulged in a flight of fancy and on his transfer handed over the case file to Police Station Nowhatta without mentioning anywhere about the seized items which he had reportedly seized from the scene of crime,” the interim report, a copy of which lies with news agency CNS reads.
The Court as per the interim report has rejected the CRPF claim that they fired only after coming attack from militants. “If militants would have attacked on the CRPF, then it would have affected people who were part of procession. There seems to be no weightage in claims made by the CRPR Battalion in question and it is also ironical that CRPF has claimed that they couldn’t see the coffin though it was carried by the mourners on their shoulders. The Court is of firm belief that the CRPF men resorted to firing for excess than it was actually called for and thus holds CRPF personnel responsible for the act.”
As per the interim report the Court of Inquiry conducted by a Board of Officers including IGP NES-CRPF Mr M.P.Singh, VSM-DIG (P) CRPF Mir N.K.Tiwari and Commandant 60 Battalion CRPF Mr R.K.Sharma has held 15 CRPF men from 69 Battalion responsible for the massacre. These accused CRPF men included DySP Lakhan Singh, Sub Inspector Mukhtar Singh, Sub Inspector Rajinder Singh, Lance Naik Satpal Singh, Constable T.A. Param, Constable Ghalib Khan, Constable Desh Raj, Constable D.Krishna, Constable Om Singh, Constable Prem Singh, Constable Y.Krishna Rao, Constable Y.Shukla, Lance Naik D.N. Singh, Lance Naik A.K. Mita and another Constable (name not mentioned) with belt number 880900551.
“Since the incident is 27 years old, the evidence if any except the statements of witnesses would have lost its relevance especially due to carelessness and deliberate attempts on behalf of the former Investigating Officer namely ASP N.Sarvada (IPS). At this stage some documents are to be sought from certain quarters and a fresh attempt will be undertaken to locate the injured persons/witnesses to record their statements and the enquiry will be concluded and submitted within a couple of months before the State Human Rights Commission,” reads the interim report.
Pertinently, Human Rights activist Muhammad Ahsan Untoo had approached SHRC seeking thorough probe into the Hawal massacre.