The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has rapped authorities for playing “hide and seek” with it for “past seven months.”
The rights panel passed the remarks after a senior government official did not appear before it for the third time in a row in a petition regarding the 1990 Handwara massacre.
“The matter is serious, in view of the fact that for the last seven months the concerned authorities are playing hide and seek. The commission would have passed strict orders but at the request of Additional Advocate General appearing for the state, one more chance of two weeks is granted to file the report. If the Additional Deputy Commissioner(ADC) Kupwara will fail to file the report, consequences will follow,” the commission said Wednesday while hearing a petition on the killing of “17 people” by Border Security Force (BSF) in Handwara on January 25,1990.
According to the petition filed by activist Ahsan Untoo, thousands of people assembled in Handwara Chowk to protest the Gawkadal massacre in which 52 persons were killed by CRPF.
A large procession from Ramhal area had reached Handwara chowk via Magam when a BSF vehicle from Waripora Handwara appeared near Police Station Handwara and tried to make its way through, but protestors didn’t allow it to pass. This infuriated the BSF men who opened fire on the unarmed protestors.
The case was listed before SHRC on April 25 and the ADC Kupwara had sought time to file a supplementary report by July 20.
The commission said that time was granted to him but, “On 20.07.2017, ADC Kupwara did not appear and did not file a report before the commission. The commission adjourned the case till 20.09.2017. Again report was not filed, and the Additional Deputy Commissioner was not even represented by anybody. Therefore a direction was sent to him to file a report by the next date and he was asked to remain present on 01.11.2017.”
“The case was taken up on 01.11.2017 again but he did not file any report on this date too. The case was then adjourned till today (Wednesday). Today also nobody appears ,” the commission said.
A report claiming that 14 people were killed in the massacre and the BSF had opened fire in self-defense has been rejected by a court and the case is being reinvestigated.
(Featured image courtesy: Lost Kashmir History)