Nearly two months after they were arrested, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday granted bail to four police officials including the suspended SP Javed Iqbal Matoo in the Shopian rape and double murder case.

The order was passed by Justice Sunil Hali today after he had reserved the the same on September eight. The four police officials including Matoo, the Deputy SP Rohit Baskotra, the SHO Shafeeq Ahmad and sub-inspector Qazi Abdul Karim have been asked to furnish a bail bond of Rs. 15,000.

They were arrested on July 15 on the orders given by a division bench of the High Court for allegedly destroying the evidence in case of alleged rape and murder of Neelofar (22) and Aasiya (17), whose bodies were found on May 30 from a stream in Shopian, 70 kilometers from here.

Justice Hali had reserved the orders after defence counsel for the police officers Aseem Mehrotra concluded his counter-arguments by claiming that the police officials were being made scapegoats by the government.

The Advocate General Mohammad Ishaq Qadri and Kashmir High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom, during their arguments, had opposed the bail plea of the officers.

The Jammu and Kashmir Government has already handed over the case to the CBI and was waiting for the agency to take a decision on taking up the investigation.

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