Hawal Massacre 1990: CRPF identified 15 personnel, but no idea if any action was taken: SHRC

SHRC's Police Investigation Team reveals startling details

Sameer Showkin Lone

Srinagar | Dec 16: :  The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Police Investigation Wing (PIW) has revealed in its report that CRPF’s Court of Inquiry (COI) had identified “15 CRPF personnel involved in the Hawal massacre”  but there is no idea if any action has been taken.

According to official figures 35 civilians were killed, when CRPF forces fired indiscriminately on the funeral procession of pro-freedom leader Moulvi Mohammad Farooq.

The PIWs report comes two months after the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of J&K Police in its report submitted to SHRC has closed the case as “untraced”.

The SHRC’s Police Investigation Wing (PIW) in its report submitted to SHRC against a complaint filed by chairman International Forum for Justice Human Rights Mohammad Ahsan Untoo, regarding killing of civilians at Hawal on May 21, 1990, revealed that CRPF’s Court of Inquiry (COI) had “identified 15 personnel involved in the massacre, but there is no idea if any action was taken”.

J&K Police’s CID wing in its report submitted had stated that during the course of investigation, the statements of some CRPF personnel deployed at the place of occurrence on the date of incident were recorded.

“As per CRPF personnel, curfew was imposed on the day and during curfew hours some unknown militants fired upon the CRPF men with intention to kill them and in retaliation CRPF fired in self defence in which some 35 civilians died on spot,” reads the CID report.

The report further reads the investigation of the case was entrusted to Crime Branch Kashmir. “During the course of investigation, the case has been closed as untraced as no clue was found despite strenuous efforts,” further reads the CID report.

However, the SHRC’s Police Investigation Wing (PIW) punctures the CID report. The PIW report says that during its investigation it was found that an FIR 35/1990 stands registered in Police Station Nowhatta regarding the incident.

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The PIW report reads that according to the FIR, the sequence of events that had taken place on the day of incident. “At 2:40 PM on that day, ASI of J&K police Mohd Rafiq had submitted a written docket through Ct. No 686 to SHO P/S Nowhatta, mentioning that during the law and order duty, it was learnt that Moulvi Mohammad Farooq of Awami Action Committee has succumbed at Medical Institute Soura due to bullet injuries and his body was being taken to Rajouri Kadal in a procession and near Islamia College  some rounds were fired as a result of which lot of persons in the procession have died,” it reads.

The PIW reports further reads that on the day of incident, the then SSP headquarters, Srinagar, N Sarvade was entrusted to investigate the case. “Sarvade conducted investigation of the case from 21/05/1990 to 13 August 1990 and submitted 20 Case Diaries (CD), wherein he hasn’t recorded statements of the eye witnesses, injured persons and has only recorded the statements of CRPF officials.”

Afterwards, the case was taken up by then SHO Nowhatta, Farooq Ahmad. “In the same CD, the IO stated that vide PHQ order Number 20-C/92 dated 13/11/1992. The investigation of the case was later transferred to Crime Branch Kashmir. However, it’s not known that from 13/08/1990 to 13/11/1992, where the case file had been and no efforts were taken to investigate it,” it further reads.

Consequent upon the case in Crime Branch, the case was taken up by then Dy. SP Mir Ab. Qayoom. “During the investigation, in CD dated 16/03/1993, the IO mentioned that a list of 114 individuals has been provided by the Institute on 02/06/1990 showing the names of persons killed/injured.”

“The IO further recorded the statements of the relatives of the deceased persons and during investigation of the case it was established that personnel of 69-BN were deployed at place of occurrence who were requested to provide the court of enquiry papers, besides the list of officials deployed at and around Islamia College,” reads the report.

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During the course of further investigation citing the sequence of investigations by Crime Branch, the CRPF had conducted a Court of Inquiry (COI) headed by a board of officers consisting MP Singh IGP NES-CRPF, NK Tiwari DIG (P) CRPF, R K Sharma Commandant 60-BN-CRPF. The COI held 15 CRPF officers and cops of 69 BN responsible for “indiscriminate firing”. The personnel found responsible include one DSP, two SI’s, three Lance-Naiks and nine constables of CRPF.

“However, it wasn’t known what action has been taken against the delinquent officials and whether any criminal proceedings have been conducted against them or not,” reads the interim report submitted by DSP, SHRC, who is also IO of the case.

While the Crime Branch has already closed the case as untraced, the SHRC’s PIW has sought that fresh attempts be made to locate the injured persons and report be submitted within couple of months before the Commission.

Meanwhile, Untoo has filed a rejoinder with SHRC stating that despite the fact it was a case of massacre by CRPF personnel of 69BN, the Crime Branch is responsible for closing the case to give benefit to the involved CRPF men.

“May the Commission direct IG Crime to register FIR against 15 personnel of 69 BN of CRPF named in the final enquiry report,” he said.

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About Desk Editor

Thanks to all those who said ‘no’ to me, it is because of them I did it myself.
Sameer Showkin Lone is a Founder/ Editor of News Despatch (www.newsdespatch.com). He is a journalist with experience of working in different media organisations including India Today and Scoop Whoop. He reports on Defence and Security, Politics, Human Rights, Health and Environment.

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