>Soura youth’s ‘torture to death’ case>
SRINAGAR, Nov 29: A city court has granted time till last week of December to police to conclude its investigations into death of Umar Qayoom Bhat who was allegedly tortured by police before he breathed his last at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) during August 2010 agitation.
Sources in the prosecution told Kashmir Times, that the investigating officer of the case has asked queries to doctors at SKIMS who had given their report about the death of Umar. “Since the IO is yet to get reply to his queries from SKIMS doctors, the prosecution sought time on behalf of police to conclude its investigations in the matter,” sources said, adding that the case diary was submitted by the prosecution today.
On September 7, the court had directed police to complete investigations within a month into the matter. The court had also asked director SKIMS to produce medical records pertaining to Umar’s admission and subsequent death before the IO within a fortnight.
“Had police been serious in this matter, it would have taken the body of Umar into custody as his death was suspicious. There is hardly a 300 meter distance from police station Soura and the SKIMS. But police has failed in its primary duty which speaks volumes about its dereliction of duty,” advocate Shabir Ahmad, the counsel for Umar’s family had pleaded before the court passes its September 7, direction. .
In his compliant Umar’s father Abdul Qayoom Bhat, has said that his son was taken in custody on August 20, 2010 at 3 pm and beaten up severely in custody by police personnel in police station Soura and then left on August 21 evening at about 7 pm. He had further alleged that his son had suffered damage to some vital organs because of being beaten and had to be hospitalized on August 23 because of severe internal pain.
According to Bhat, his son was released on bail in August 21, at 7 pm and he was admitted at SKIMS on August 23, where he was kept on ventilator for two days and he breathed his last in SKIMS on August 25.
However, the Court while quoting police report has said that on August 20, the then SHO police station Soura Abdul Majid Malik along with escort team had lifted three boys during patrolling on the allegations that they had been forcing shopkeepers at Sabzi Mandi Soura to close their shops. Police had admitted of arresting three youth including Umar in its report filed before the court saying: “When they did not respond to his appeals to shun their activities for avoiding breach of peace, the trio were booked under sections 107, 151 Cr.P.C and produced before the executive magistrate concerned on August 25, 20910 in good state of health.”
According to the Court it has been further reported by the police that all of the three were released on bail in the open court. “On the same day police had received information from their sources that Umar Qayoom has expired and there were rumours in the area that he was tortured by cops. This led to initiation of proceedings under section 174 Cr.P.C which has not been concluded till date, the police reports reads further, as quoted by the Court.
Concluding the merit of the case, the court had found that the enquiry was being conducted by same officer against whom there were serious allegations of torturing the deceased while in his custody. “The SSP should have taken note of all these facts and entrusted the enquiry to some other police officer, in order to guard the accusations being biased, interested and unfair conduct. It is the duty of the investigating agency to ensure that investigation is conducted in just, free and fair manner with promptitude,’ the court order of July 27, 2011 reads.
The court had further said that the enquiry officer has maintained a total silence about the complaint filed by the father of the deceased at the earliest and has not taken the trouble to contact and examine the doctors who attended the deceased with regard to the injuries external, internal observed by them during the course of treatment and also to collect the record to that effect.
Pertinently, in its death summary report, the doctors of the SKIMS who treated Umar have reported: “17-year-old Bhat Umar son of Abdul Qayoom resident of Soura was admitted on 23-8-2010 in A/E with chief compliant of vomiting of blood subsequent to allegedly beaten by cops four days ago. X-ray chest was showing bilateral diffuse infiltrates. CT scan chest was showing massive intrapulmonary hemorrhage. Both lungs were replaced with hemorrhage….in view of severe hypoxia patient was shifted to Special Intensive Care Unit for effective ventilation.”
Interestingly, on July 27, 2011, the then CJM Srinagar had taken a strong exception to the delay and police functioning into the incident. Yashpal Bourney, the then CJM Srinagar had had ordered SSP Srinagar to personally supervise the probe and appoint a deputy superintendent of police who will investigate the circumstances which led to death of Umar Bhat. “The facts from the file reveal a sordid picture of how irresponsibly and irrationally state is police is functioning,” the CJM Srinagar Yashpal Bourney, had remarked while directing the SSP Srinagar to complete the probe within 15 days and file a detailed report by the next date of hearing which was then fixed on August 16, 2011.
Publish Date: 30-11-12 7:58 AM
>Soura youth’s ‘torture to death’ case>