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Firing on demonstrators without magisterial orders says 2010 probe

More than a year after M.L. Koul, a retired judge, who headed the Court of Inquiry to look into the actions of the government forces that led to the civilian killings in the unrest of 2010, submitted its report, the government on Tuesday said in a cabinet meeting that it had taken a note of the “action” after the report was submitted.
However it wasn’t clear what action the government had taken after the report was handed over by the Court of Inquiry in December, 2016. A senior minister, who didn’t want to be named, said the cabinet discussed the report and took note of it.
“The cabinet noted the action taken on the report. Apart from the inquiry report, the action taken report was also presented in the cabinet,”a senior bureaucrat disclosed.
Interestingly, the government has not implemented the inquiry panel’s recommendations like CBI inquiry into Tufail Matto’s killing and re-look at the continuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in peaceful areas of the state.
No minister was willing to come on record about the action taken on the report nor did the government circulate any official handout.
In its report, the CoI headed by Justice (retd.)M L Koul has observed that the force used on protesters was neither commensurate nor proportionate to deal with the disturbances”. “The firing upon the demonstrators was without magisterial orders and so it was neither commensurate nor proportionate to deal with the disturbances,” read the report. The 2010 unrest in which more than 120 youth were killed by the police and CRPF was caused by the Machil fake encounter and Tufail Matto’s killing.
The then Omar Abdulla- led government had constituted a CoI under Justice (Retd) Syed Bashir-ud-Din to probe the first 17 killings starting from Tufail Mattoo’s death. But the CoI had died a silent death after the government refused to extend its tenure. In June 2014, another CoI was set-up under the chairmanship of Justice (retd) M L Koul after National Conference’s crushing defeat in the parliamentary polls.
In its report, the Koul commission has pointed out that forces fired upon protesters in Anantnag, Baramulla ,Kulgam,Pulwama,Shopian and Srinagar districts without orders of magistrate. “During the inquiry proceedings, firing incidents upon the demonstrators by the security forces including J&K Police have been found without the orders of magistrates in cases of Abul Aziz Malik, Gulzar Ahmad Wagay, Jehangir Ahmad Zargar , Zahid Nabi,”the report states.
Coming down heavily on the state government, the inquiry panel has observed that both the police and the administration were found inactive and indolent in dealing with the law and order situation.”
It had also recommended a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing of Tufail Matto. Tufail’s killing by forces on June 11, 2010 is seen as one of the main causes of the 2010 unrest.
Pointing that Umar Qayoom of Soura died due to police torture, the Commission has recommended registration of custodial death case against the police personnel responsible/ liable for death.
“It has been found that Umar Qayoom had died because of police torture during the custody after he was picked up by police officials near a shop on August 20, 2010,” the report reveals.

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