The Jammu and Kashmir high court has ordered fresh investigation into the killing of teenager Tufail Mattoo, whose death in 2010 is believed to have sparked civil protest that left over hundred protesters and bystanders dead in the subsequent months.
The court rejected the closure report filed by a Special Investigation Team of police, observing that an attempt has been made to save certain police officials.
nnouncing the judgment after reserving it for eight months, a single bench of Justice Virender Singh asked Director General of Police to handover the investigation of the case to the Crime Branch, a local newspaper Kashmir Reader reported.
The court also directed that an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police only shall conduct the investigation and submit status report within eight weeks.
“The court will be reluctant in extending the time except on bonafide grounds as the incident relates to June 2010,” the bench said.
The bench said the Crime Branch will be at liberty to move a formal application before court of Special Mobile Magistrate Srinagar for taking into their possession the entire record of investigation already submitted before it by SIT, resulting into closure of the case “as it may facilitate the Crime Branch to proceed ahead with the investigation afresh.”
The court also quashed March 1, 2013 order passed by Special Mobile Magistrate (PT&E) Srinagar accepting the closure report by it.
17-year-old Tufail was returning home from tuition on June 11, 2010 when a teargas shell fired by the police hit him on the head near Gani Memorial Stadium in Rajouri Kadal area of old city, killing him on the spot. The killing of the Class 12 standard student, the only child of his parents, had unleashed massive and unprecedented ‘street intifada’ on the streets of Kashmir. More than 120 protesters and bystanders were killed in police and paramilitary CRPF action in the six month agitation.
The investigation was carried by SIT and in November 2012, it filed the final report before High Court, closing the case as untraced.
The parents of Tufail, court said, have been deprived of their only son who at the time of death was a Class 12 student. “The police cannot be permitted to abdicate its statutory duty of identifying the culprit and bringing him to justice,” the court said.
A criminal case, court said, is totally dependent upon the investigation and in case the investigation is not conducted properly, fairly and impartially, it will result into grave miscarriage of justice.