Unmarked Mass Graves: HC issues notice to Govt

Srinagar: The High Court on Wednesday issued another notice to the State Government to file reply within two weeks to the petition seeking directions for conducting DNA test of the bodies lying in unmarked graves.

The Court passed the order on the petition filed by Zahoor Ahmad Mir through his counsel seeking directions to the Government to take necessary steps in conducting DNA testing of all bodies in unnamed graves so that the body of his father can be identified and recovered.
Seeking direction for a compensation of Rs 5 crore for the victim family, Syed Babar Jan Qadri, counsel for the petitioner, pleaded that late Ali Muhammad Mir was innocent and was killed by pro-Government gunman Ghulam Muhammad Lone alias Papa Kishtwari and his associates.
He argued that petitioner’s father, a 45-year old contractor was killed in custody by the Government-sponsored gunman Papa Kishtwari and his associates and an FIR was registered following which prosecution was initiated against the accused in the trial court.
He informed the court that police has already completed the investigations against the accused and has produced charge-sheet before the trial court, but some of the accused are still absconding.
The counsel pleaded that the eyewitnesses have deposed against the accused in the trial court that the petitioner’s father was killed by the Government-sponsored gunmen in their custody.
“The petitioner was struggling to get the body of his father since 1996, when he was abducted, to perform his last rites but his efforts have went waste and the State Human Rights Commission’s report over the existence of mass graves here has raised a hope for the petitioner, who has filed a petition to recover the body of his father,” he told the court.
The counsel argued that the petitioner has strived to get an FIR registered against the accused and an FIR was lodged against them with police station Nishat in 2007, and some of the accused are still absconding, who are a grave threat to the life of the petitioner.
The Government Advocate Muhammad Ashraf Thakur, who defended the State in the case, accepted notice on behalf of respondents.

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