Majlis-e-Mashawarat (MM), the body spearheading the agitation for justice to two women victims in the Shopian case, on Sunday charged that state institutions were unwilling to identify the culprits. So it was now the responsibility of civil society to take up the job.

During a day-long consultative programme with civil society -- “Shopian: birth of a response” -- it was resolved that in the case of the “rape and murder” of the two women “it has been clearly demonstrated that the state institutions are unwilling to identify the culprits as the first necessary step towards dispensing justice.”

“The state institutions have done everything to subvert the process of justice and to break the will of the people to pursue the case: destruction of evidence, harassment, threat, blackmail, using the state-controlled rumour-mill to blemish the image of the victims and their families” said a Majlis spokesman quoting the deliberations at the meet.

The Majlis, he said, had requested the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice based in Kashmir to carry out a probe using international and neutral expertise to identify the criminals and government agencies involved.

“The IPTK has accepted our request and written to the Chief Minister of J&K asking for access to army, paramilitary and police camps and their officers and personnel in Shopian and around, along with the evidentiary material collected for examination and analysis,” he said.

“We appeal to all those with any information and insight about this heinous crime to consciously come forward and cooperate with the IPTK in the probe.

“We ask the government to provide access to the Tribunal to all the materials, sites and persons as demanded by or before February 1, 2010 failing which the Majlis along with the larger civil society of Kashmir will agitate in all the relevant global forums to persuade the government for providing such access. It has become imperative to highlight the conditions of besiegement as a result of extreme militarisation of Kashmir, which has fostered conditions for this kind of a crime, aimed at breaking the will and battering the dignity of people” said the spokesman.

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