[Reader-list] …and injustice for all

Khurram Parvez khurramparvez at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 13 16:37:26 IST 2008

Statement by the Relatives of the  victims of  Triple Murder case


The acquittal of Abdur Rashid
Khan Alias Rashid Billa (SDPO) and the other police officials responsible for
the killing of three youth namely Nazir Ahmed Gilkar, Javed Ahmed Shah and
Ghulam Rasool Mattoo who were arrested on 23rd of June 1999 is
condemnable and serious miscarriage of justice. 


On 23rd June 1999 the
trio while returning from the marriage ceremony were detained by the Soura
Police station, where Nazir Ahmed Gilkar was tortured to death and his body was
thrown in Dal Lake . The other two detainees were taken
to Sheeri Baramulla where they were killed and buried secretively in Kichama


The case became high profile and
was entrusted to Crime Branch and accused except Rashid Billa who remained
absconding, were arrested and put on trial. Rashid Billa was believed to be
living under the protection and patronage of then IGP Mr. Gill and staying at
his farm house. The accused got the case transferred to Jammu . The Special Leave to Appeal filed
against the transfer of case to Jammu 
which caused inconvenience to the family members of the victims was dismissed
by the Supreme Court of India on 01-10-2001.


During trial out of 63 witnesses
only 36 deposed and all the police witnesses turned hostile. They even
contradicted their own statements made under section 161 of Cr. P.C. thereby
paving way for the acquittal of the accused. According to the Sessions Judge
Jammu, observations:


“The police witnesses on whom the
prosecution could depend upon ion the case have not deposed even a word against
the accused. The police witnesses have in totality denied the occurrence having
taken place in the police station Soura. The statement of the police witnesses
at the very first glance proves fatal for the prosecution. Their statements
were very key for the prosecution as very important link could be established connecting
the accused with the commission of offence. If the police witnesses are not
supporting the prosecution version then who else is expected to depend for the


Judiciary has now become very
sensitive against acquittals in the cases where the investigation remains under
pressure or the witnesses are turned hostile. The important cases like
Priyadarshini Mattoo’s, Jessica Lal’s and the Best Bakery Case of Gujarat
violence were the cases in which superior judiciary ordered re-trial and set
aside the acquittals made in the trial courts. In Priyadarshini Mattoo’s case
the accused Santosh Kumar who was acquitted by the trial court was finally
convicted after the Delhi High Court in consequence of massive public outcry
had fixed day-to-day trial and judgment was reached in 42 days. The original
acquittal was over turned and Santosh Singh was found guilty of murder and
rape. The court also observed that there has been inaction by Delhi Police and under
influence of his father who was then the Joint Commissioner of Police in Delhi . Similarly in
Jessica Lal’s case, the accused Mannu Sharma, son of the influential politician
was also acquitted by the trail court but finally after the massive outcry from
the civil society groups the Delhi High Court set aside the acquittal order and
convicted Mannu Sharma for life imprisonment. Even the witnesses who turned
hostile initially have been put on notice to explain why they should not be tried
for perjury. 


The Best Bakery
murder trail
received wide attention after witnesses retracted testimony in court
and all
accused were acquitted. The Indian Supreme court ordered a re-trial
outside Gujarat and 9 accused were found guilty. Even Zahira Sheikh
the prime witness was found guilty of perjury. 


In the state of Jammu Kashmir the
acquittals are normal and conviction of the police officials is very rare. Even
in the rape cases the accused have been acquitted. The glaring example is the rape
case of mother and daughter from Banihal, where the accused army official has
been acquitted by court. No appeals have been filed by the state. The triple
murder case demonstrates that even in the high profile murder cases the
conviction rate is zero and justice is a mirage for people. The only option
left for the relatives of the triple murder case is to mobilize the public
opinion and also expose the farcical institutions claimed to be upholders the
rights of the people.


The relatives have decided to
file an appeal seeking for re-trial of the investigation expecting the
judiciary to follow the precedents outside the state. The family members also
expect the Judiciary to initiate action against the police witnesses for
perjury. Fair trial in future demands prosecution of the high ranking official
Mr. Gill who has been patronizing the prime accused, Rashid Billa, who is still
absconding even after acquittal.


We the family members pledge that
we shall not rest till we get justice.


Relatives of the victims of triple murder case 


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