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Rejection of CBI Shopian report is bizarre, says Chidambaram

Source: PTI
December 17, 2009 18:08 IST
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Home Minister P Chidambaram termed as "bizarre" the rejection of the CBI report on the death of two women in Shopian in Jammu and Kashmir and said any pre-disposition in favour of a particular conclusion was not the way to go about a professional probe.

"This is bizarre. You (those objecting CBI's findings) asked for a CBI inquiry and then if the inquiry does not support your original hypothesis, you condemn the report," he said when asked to comment on the rejection of the agency's report on the death of Neelofar and Asiya , whose bodies were found in a stream in May.

According to the CBI report, the women died due to drowning and the two were not raped and murdered as alleged by the family members of the victims. There was widespread protests after the women were found dead and their relatives and political parties staged non-stop protests.

The Home Minister, however, said he was not surprised at the hardliners' reaction after the report was made public though the investigation was handed over to the CBI after many groups in the state demanded for it. "I am sorry for them... They wanted a CBI inquiry. Many groups asked for a CBI inquiry. Now, what do we have except the CBI. So, we said...alright, the CBI will enquire. In fact, I requested the Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) to agree to a CBI inquiry," he said.

Chidambaram said he wondered how could one who has nothing to do with police or investigation or is a trained investigator just stand up and say that he condemns the CBI report and says "this is a whitewash". "How can you say that? Just as you can't say that some one is guilty, you can't say someone is not guilty. No one is competent to come to any conclusion, unless he is part of the investigating team," he told Times Now.

The Home Minister said people must trust someone in this country and apart from the CBI, which agency does the country have to entrust an investigation. "So, the investigation is given to the CBI. If CBI's conclusion supports their hypothesise, will not they say CBI is a wonderful organisation. This pre-disposition, this bias, in favour of a particular conclusion is not the way to go about a professional scientific investigation," he said.

The Home Minister said the CBI had probed the matter and said they had uncovered the truth. "The truth is this is ante-mortem drowning. The two women were not raped. Now the report is before the court. The court of course will ask the pertinent questions before it either accepts or not accept the report. How can someone who has nothing to do with police or investigation or a trained investigators just stand up and say I condemn the CBI report, this is a whitewash," he said.

Asked about demand for a "people inquiry", Chidambaram said a matter of this nature can be enquired into by trained investigators or by professional forensic investigators. "Even I can't enquire into a crime. Are we qualified to enquire into a crime or crime scene and gather evidence or samples and make an investigation," he said.

Asked about the ongoing peace process in Jammu and Kashmir, Chidambaram said "Frankly, I can't answer the question because these are quite talks and quite dialogue. I remain confident (of its success)."

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