Monday, October 26, 2009

5 yrs on, no trace of DNA report

Naseer A Ganai

Srinagar, Oct 25: The body of a civilian dubbed as top Pakistani militant and killed by the Border Security Force in a fake encounter in September 2003 was exhumed on April 11, 2005 from Aloochibagh here for DNA testing. 
 Five years on, the DNA report is shrouded in mystery although police have closed the case claiming the samples had not matched with that of the youth’s father. His lawyer has challenged the police claim alleging it had no report as the samples had never been sent outside the site for DNA testing. 
 On April 11, 2005, the body of a resident of Kupwara’s Dewar Anderbug village, Farooq Ahmad Khan was exhumed in presence of the then Tehsildar, Srinagar, the then SHO, and Health Department doctors for DNA test following claim by one Wali Muhammad Khan that the buried youth was not a foreign militant but his son.
 Farooq, who worked at the bakery of Bashir Ahmad Sofi in downtown Rainawari, was picked up by the troops of Rashtriya Rifles during the night intervening August 19/20, 2003 from his employer’s house, according to his father. 
 Khan said Sofi had informed him about his son’s arrest. After his arrest, the army had brought his son to the village for search operation, where some people saw him in the custody of soldiers. He said he (Khan) approached the Rainawari police station to lodge an FIR. But, he said, the SHO had refused to register the case saying that his son would return soon in case he was innocent. However, he never returned.   
 Instead, in September 2003, Khan said, he saw a photograph in an Urdu newspaper with the caption- ‘Fidayeen killed in an encounter in Nishat.’ He said the RR had handed his son over to BSF “who killed him in a fake encounter dubbing him as a foreign militant.” He said he recognized the photograph of his son. 
 “I rushed to Nishat police station where I was shown different photographs and was told the name of person killed in the encounter was Imtiyaz Khan from Pakistan,” Khan told Greater Kashmir. But, he said, he was not convinced. He filed a case in the High Court on January 15, 2004. 
 His lawyer, Pervez Imroz, said the High Court directed the police to investigate the case. Subsequently, he said, the police registered an FIR and started investigation during which the body was exhumed from Aloochibagh when Khan had recognized his son. Samples were taken from Khan and his wife for DNA test. 
 Subsequently, Imroz said, the police didn’t reveal anything about the DNA report and instead informed them in 2008 about the closure of the case. According to Nishat police station, the DNA samples had not matched. 
 “The moot point is that the police didn’t show us the report,” Imroz said, adding that the samples, though collected, had not been sent for test as there was no DNA report with the police. 
 “It is a classic case of DNA fudging,” Imroz said, adding that when the issue was brought to the notice of the High Court, it had expressed shock observing that the police couldn’t close the case. He said the case would be agitated before the Supreme Court now.

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