Police-judiciary lock horns in Kashmir

Court issue warrant against SSP for not filing FIR against DSP who allegedly shot dead a youth

Police-judiciary lock horns in Kashmir

Three days after the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, the DSP Yasir Qadiri allegedly shot dead at a point blank range a youth Shabir Ahmad Mir at his home in Tengpora, a Srinagar locality. His father Abdul Rehman Mir filed a petition in the city court after police refused to file an FIR against the DSP.

The father’s petition read: “When they (Mir’s family members) were watching television, a police party headed by DSP Qadri barged into the house and started smashing window panes and doors. The wife of the applicant tried to stop the said police officer, but he physically assaulted her. The son (Shabir) could not tolerate the thrashing of his mother and tried to rescue her from the clutches of the police officer. The police officer took out his pistol and fired two shots at him, resulting in his on-the-spot death”.

Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Srinagar, Masarat Shaheen directed the Senior Superintendent of Police, Srinagar, Amit Kumar to register a case and launch a probe against Qadri.

“The applicant is on affidavit and as per the facts of the application, the concerned DSP has acted beyond the powers, which reveals that there is a case of cognizable offences,” the court said. “In the light of the application and the affidavit sworn by the applicant, SSP, Srinagar, is directed to lodge an FIR against the concerned official and investigate the matter.

The police did file an FIR but not against the DSP Qadiri but against the dead youth. They named Shabir as accused in the FIR. And later police defended the decision in the court, saying Shabir was leading the protest on the day he was killed.

Court, however, rejected the police explanation in the hearing on Thursday, directing SSP Srinagar to file the second FIR against accused DSP Qadri and deposit the copy of the FIR before the court within 24 hours.

But the police again refused to obey the order which amounted to contempt of the court.

In the hearing today, the CJM Shaheen took serious notice of the violation of the court’s ruling and ordered a non-bailable warrant against the SSP Srinagar himself to be executed through DIG Central Kashmir. The court rejected the application on behalf of the SSP which had sought exemption from personal appearance for him.

The Court further directed the Chief Prosecuting Officer, who was present in the court, to forward non-bailable warrant to DIG Central Kashmir and file compliance report within two days.

“The SSP Srinagar is further directed to show cause as to why contempt proceedings shall not be initiated against him for not obeying the court directions, whereby he was directed to lodge FIR and file a copy of the FIR within 24 hours,’’ read the order.

Now, it remains to be seen whether DIG executes the warrant against SSP. He has two days to do it. The incident has set off a judiciary-security war in Kashmir. Police has so far won the first round.