In an important judgment, the J&K High Court observed that the recommendations of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in the Kunan-Poshpora mass rape case are supported by evidence and asked the government to explore possibilities to compensate victims. The court also questioned the delay in the re-investigation and asked the government to file a status report.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by the survivors asking the court to monitor re-investigation in the case and direct the government to process the compensation for the victims. “The SHRC recommendations were supported by evidence. The government should explore the possibilities of payment of compensation within three weeks,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Masoodi observed.
The victims’ counsel Advocate, Pervez Imroz asked for monitoring of the case by the HC saying the investigating officer is seeking extensions without starting re-investigation. Though the Additional Advocate General representing the state argued that the government had filed a revision petition against the court order for re-investigation of the case, the Bench said there is no reason for delay in re-investigation as the court had not stayed it.
The court asked the state Home department to file a status report in the re-investigation within three weeks. On February 23-24 night, in 1991, soldiers of 4 Rajputana Rifles cordoned off the Kunan and Poshpora villages in Kupwara and allegedly raped more than 40 women.