Welcoming the High Court order to exhume the bodies of two women allegedly raped and killed in Shopian,Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Saturday that the move will help in establishing the facts in this case which have evoked strong reactions in the valley.
The Chief Minister was of the view that any move that will help establish the fact in this case will go a long way in addressing the anger of people.
“I think it is a welcome development. The government is keen that we establish the facts in this case. The interim report submitted by the (Retd Justice Muzzafar Jan) Commission has raised questions about the post mortems that were conducted and whether anything could be determined from them.
“The High Court has decided that an exhumation followed by an in-depth post-mortem is the best way to establish the facts in this case and that is exactly what we want,” he said.
Kashmir was on a boil after 22 year-old Neelofar Jan and her 17-year-old sister-in-law Asiya Jan were allegedly raped and murdered on the intervening night of May 29 and 30 in Shopian.
The Jan Commission,appointed by Abdullah on June three,was of the view that the conduct of the some of the officials,including doctors who conducted the first post-mortem on the victims and an official of the Forensic Science Laboratory had led to loss of crucial evidence.
Abdullah said the anger against the Shopian killings was based on people’s impression that some effort was going on to cover it up.
Asked how long it will take before the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice,the Chief Minister said,”you cannot pre-judge how long it will take. It could take days,(it could take) weeks.”
Asserting that the process will be transparent,he said this is “not going to be one of those probes where facts are made known but they are either buried or no action is taken”.
Asked whether the exhumation of the bodies comes a little late,he said,he did not believe it was “too late”. “The High Court has taken some inputs to whether an exhumation at this point in time would be beneficial or not.
They clearly have been led to understand that even at this point,if we were to exhume the bodies,conduct an in-depth post-mortem,we may be able to gather some evidence that was perhaps missed in the earlier post-mortem,” he said.
He also noted that the Jan Commission and SIT were working together to put the pieces together to establish what happened and who were perpetrators.