The Honorable Members of Division Bench
J&KState Human Rights Commission,
Subject: Rejoinder to the submission by SP Human Rights of CID, J&K Police regarding Wandhama massacre investigation
On the last hearing on 29.08.2012 we have been provided with the letter of SP Human Rights of CID Headquarters vide letter no: CID/HR/SHRC-250/2008 dated: 27/01/2012. We would like to submit the following as our arguments in response to this letter:
1. The CID department alleges that the massacre of 23 Kashmiri Pandits was carried out by “some unknown militants” and based on the suspicion of the locals people it was ascertained that militants of Harkat-ul-Ansar were responsible for this brutal massacre.
2. The CID department further claims that on 17th February 1998 hills of Safapora were cordoned and 6 militants of Harkat-ul-Ansar were killed and 1 was apprehended after being injured. The injured militant on being interrogated according to CID department divulged the details regarding the involvement of 21 members of Harkat-ul-Ansar in the killing of victims of Wandhama massacre. As per this CID communiqué the injured militant before his death on 24th February 1998 also informed the Police about CaptainShair Khan, the Commander of Harkat-ul-Ansar who ordered the massacre of Kashmiri pundits.
3. As per CID letter later 13 other foreign militants who were also involved in the killings of Kashmiri Pandits of Wandhama were killed.
4. The CID department should furnish the copies of FIRs and investigation reports under which they claim that these foreign militants were killed in encounters with armed forces. Based on this CID response there should be two FIRs where the killings of these foreign militants has been registered and investigated.
5. If the police have filed FIRs regarding the encounters in which these foreign militants were killed then surely police would have identified these foreign militants responsible for killing victims of Wandhama massacre. We urge that the Police should be asked to provide list of these 20 foreign militants killed and the place where they have been buried.
6. According to the CID department’s letter the statement of the injured militant who later died in the hospital is crucial, as that forms the basis of the police investigation regarding the Wandhama massacre. Therefore we request SHRC to order the police department to submit the statement of that injured militant and also the officers responsible for carrying out that investigation and recording that statement should be asked to depose before this Honorable Commission.
7. According to this CID department response 20 foreign militants have been killed who were involved in the Wandhama massacre, while as, as per the statement of the injured militant questioned by Police, there were 21 militants involved in the massacre, which means that there is still one person who has not been brought to justice. We urge this Honorable Commission to ascertain from the police department regarding that one militant.
8. If the injured militant has named the Commander of the Harkat-ul-Ansar who ordered the massacre, then surely he would have also identified the other 6 militants who were shot on 17th February 1998 along with him and also would have identified the names of the other 14 persons involved in the heinous crime.
9. It needs to be ascertained what is the basis on which police claims that the 13 other foreign militants who were later killed were also involved in the Wandhama massacre.
10. It also needs to be ascertained besides these 20 foreign militants which police claims were involved in the massacre, who was the 1 militant who was neither killed nor apprehended by the police so far.
11. We do not think police has done the needful in terms of punishing the culprits responsible for the Wandhama massacre, instead we believe that Police department with very little evidence on record cannot conclusively prove that those 20 foreign militants killed were involved in Wandhama massacre. Also with lack of credible investigation the police department has closed the case as untraced even when according to their own admission the one more militant responsible for massacre is at large.
12. We urge SHRC to order its own Police Investigation Wing to carry out a thorough investigation into Wandhama massacre, which will help in ascertaining the identities of the culpable and bringing them to justice, besides this investigation would help in instilling the confidence of the Kashmiri minorities.
Sanjay K. Tickoo
Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti
Date : 10-09-2012