PIL to reinvestigate the shame of Konan-Poshpora

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has asked a counsel representing petitioners in Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking reinvestigation into Kunanposhpora mass rape incident, 1991 to come up with legal justification that a petition is maintainable before court.

A division bench, April 29, asked a counsel to provide legal references in support of how PIL can be the remedy for implementation of State Human Right Commission’s decision in further submissions. A group here comprising students, teachers and other professionals through its counsel, Parvez Imroz filed PIL April 26 seeking reinvestigation into mass rape incident at Kunanposhpora in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

The group has sought directions for initiating criminal proceedings against chairperson National Commission for Minorities, Wajahat Habibullah who was the then Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, K Vikram Rao, president of Indian Federation of Working Journalists and a visiting Professor Boobli George Varghese for their individual roles in “covering up the matter.” It also seeks directions for implementation of the 2011 recommendations of the Commission.

Kunanposhpora has witnessed one of the worst incidents of mass rape of 23 women of all ages including pregnant, deaf and dumb allegedly by 4-Rajputana Rifles of 68 Brigade during the intervening night of February 23 and 24 in 1991, says a petition. An FIR number 10/1991 stands registered at Trehgam police station. The petition reads “On October 19, 2011 Commission’s division bench asked government to constitute Special Investigation Team for re-opening the case and recommended to prosecute the then Director Prosecution who had sought closure of case on the grounds that perpetrators were untraced.”

Meanwhile, the Commission April 21 sought reports from Director General of Police and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir into May 21, 1990 Hawal massacre in which at least 50 persons were killed and hundreds wounded after security forces allegedly resorted to indiscriminate firing on the funeral procession of late Mirwaiz Mohammad Farooq. Human Rights Forum and International Forum for Justice chairman, Mohammad Ahsan Untoo in a petition before the Commission had asked for constitution of Special Investigation Team to probe the massacre and compensate kith and kin of victims.