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Shopian case: 4 accused cops arrested

Last updated on: July 15, 2009 19:52 IST

Four police officers booked for destruction, dissipation and suppression of evidence in the rape and murder of two women in south Kashmir's Shopian town have been arrested following an order passed by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday.

Passing an order in the Public Interest Litigation filed before the division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, the court ordered the arrest, preparation of DNA profiles and narco-analysis of the four suspended police officers and their production before the Registrar judicial for collection of their blood samples so that their DNA profiles are prepared.

"We direct the special investigating team (SIT) to produce those four officers on arrest before the Registrar judicial on a date and time to be fixed in consultation with the Registrar judicial High Court of Jammu and Kashmir for the purpose of drawing their blood samples which on being drawn shall be sealed by the registrar judicial and such sealed blood samples shall be sent immediately to the central forensic science laboratory New Delhi for purpose of preparing their DNA profile. The DNA of those police officers shall hereupon be matched with the DNA profile of the vaginal semen of the deceased ladies," the court ordered.

The court also ordered narco-analysis of the four police officers -- Javed Iqbal Mattoo, the then district police chief Shopian; Rohit Baskotra, deputy superintendent of police; Station House Officer (SHO) Shafeeq Ahmad; and sub-inspector Qazi Abdul Karim at Forensic Science Laboratory, Gandhi Nagar (Gujarat) which has the appropriate facility for the same.

The division bench ordered that any bail application moved by the accused shall be transferred to it for a decision. The court expressed satisfaction over investigations being carried out by the special investigation team (SIT) headed by Farooq Ahmad, inspector general of police.

The court significantly made an appeal to the people of Shopian town to call off the 48 days long strike in the town to bring normalcy there.

"The SIT has reported that by reason of hartal not only the people are suffering but they are also unable to appropriately assist in the investigation."

The court went on to say, "We assure them that as the people of the state are behind them so is the high court and it would be our collective effort to ultimately solve the crime and appropriately deal with the perpetrator(s) of the heinous crime of rape followed by murder."

The division bench assured the SIT of all assistance in whatever form the SIT wanted so that the crime is detected at an early date.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar