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Updated: November 22, 2009 12:49 IST

Shopian lawyers protest against CBI, to challenge re-examination

Shujaat Bukhari
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Taking exception to summoning of seven members of Shopian Bar Association by CBI the lawyers in Srinagar on Saturday observed a day-long strike and have decided to challenge the re-examination of witnesses. File Photo: Nissar Ahmad
The Hindu
Taking exception to summoning of seven members of Shopian Bar Association by CBI the lawyers in Srinagar on Saturday observed a day-long strike and have decided to challenge the re-examination of witnesses. File Photo: Nissar Ahmad

The CBI is investigating the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian. It was earlier investigated by a Special Investigation Team of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Justice Jan Commission.

Taking exception to summoning of seven members of Shopian Bar Association by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the lawyers in the district on Saturday observed a day-long strike and have decided to challenge the re-examination of witnesses in the alleged rape and murder of two women.

The CBI is investigating the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian in the last week of May this year. It took over the investigations on September 17 following hue and cry by the people. It was earlier investigated by a Special Investigation Team of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Justice Jan Commission, but both failed to reach any conclusion. The sources said CBI will file a report about its investigation before the High Court on December 14.

However, it had summoned four lawyers of Shopian Bar Association on Wednesday and three more on Saturday as two witnesses had turned hostile and alleged that Bar members forced them to give statements as “they wanted”. The move, has, however, been resented by the lawyers community as well as the Majlis-e-Mashwarat, the body spearheading the agitation for “justice to victims”.

‘Harassment and intimidation’

Kashmir Bar Association(KBA), the apex body of all Bar bodies in Valley on Saturday condemned what it called harassment and intimidation of the lawyers. It has also decided to render all help to Shopian Bar which has decided to challenge the re-examination of victims.

“The meeting of KBA strongly condemned the manner and method of CBI sleuths in harassing and humiliating the members of Shopian Bar Association who are being repeatedly called to CBI Camp Humhama for questioning for their role in highlighting the incident of rape and murder of two women of Shopian who were raped and then killed during the intervening night of 29/30 of May 2009” said the statement of Kashmir Bar Association. It said that the Bar executive came to conclusion that “in order to hush up the case, CBI authorities are harassing and humiliating the members of the Shopian Bar, so that they don’t raise their voice against the failure of the CBI in arresting and prosecuting the culprits who have committed the gruesome crime”.

Masjlis-e-Mashawarat member Abdur Rashid Dalal also accussed CBI of trying to hush up the case and showing the cause of death as “drowning”. “We initially co-operated with CBI but it has also failed us. We have since disassociated ourselves from CBI” he said.

‘Guilty will be punished’

State Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said that the government assured the people that Shopian guilty will be taken to task. “CBI has not shared any details related to the probe with the government. However, the government will extend all logistic help to the investigating agency,” he added. On public demand, he said, special investigation team of police was constituted to probe the twin rape and murder. “CBI probe was the demand of the people. Now let’s wait for their report,” Mr. Sagar said.

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