No civilian witness turned up to depose before a judicial commission, appointed to probe the killing of four youth in CRPF firing in Shopian in September.

Justice (retd.) M.L. Koul, who was appointed in October as head of the commission to probe the firing incident on September 7, visited Shopian on Saturday but no witnesses turned up to depose before him.

Widespread protests were witnessed after the deaths, which took place on the day when internationally-renowned orchestra conductor Zubin Maestro performed at Shalimar gardens in Srinagar.

Justice (retd.) Koul said the witnesses were asked to depose before the commission on Saturday and a prior notice was also issued in this regard. He said he will set another date for recording of statements for civilian witnesses before proceeding any further.

“I will cross examine the accused CRPF men only after recording the statements of civilian witnesses,” he said.

Four persons were killed at Gagran in Shopian district, 55 kms from Srinagar on September 7 in the firing.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ordered a judicial probe into the killings after the CRPF claim that all the deceased were militants, a version contested by local residents of Shopian.

Police have said that three youths were local and had no record of involvement in militancy, but maintained the fourth youth was a Pakistani militant.