The news which stormed social, print and electronic media about Kathua Rape case was a landmark Judgement by the Court.The news was about conviction of six accused involved in rape & murder case of little Asifa.
At Places including the Srinagar’s Lal Chowk, sweets were distributed after the Judgement came out. The case of Asifa was firstly investigated by local police but considering the gravity of crime it was handed over to Crime branch Jammu on 23 march.
When the case of 8-year old Bakerwal girl was handed to crime branch no one raised his eyebrows nor did anyone question the Constitution of “SIT”. Everything was working properly till the investigation team cracked down the case by arresting all the Eight accused involved in Rape & murder case of Asifa. When the news of detention of all eight accused came into media, hue & cry started from everywhere. Every one try to gain publicity by favoring or opposing the accused.
Former ministers came out openly in the support of the accused. Even “Ek Jhuutt Jammu” & another religious group “Hindu ekta Manch” was created to polarize the society by giving communal color to this case.
The investigation team was also blamed for taking sides of Muslim community which never proved out to be true. The name of one particular member of crime branch, investigating the case came into limelight over and again is Irfan wani real name “Urfan”.
During investigation he was Harassed by the Advocate of opposing party and some political leaders too but he don’t loose his heart and kept doing his job honestly, A murder case in which he has been acquitted already was brought into light to challenge his credibility in investigation team. These leaders tried everything in “Hustle & bustle “ to hinder him in investigating but truth prevail every time.
The Kashmiriyat correspondent from Doda, Mubashir Naik spoke to Urfan Wani who recalled how some politicians try to pressurize him weaken the case but he never bowed down and continued his fight for the truth.
He told that “they tried everything to compel me from doing my duty honestly and pressurize regarded the murder case of of Rishi Kumar filed against for which Court has equited me in 2017.”
While narrating his story Wani says that when he refused to oblige local and senior leaders of BJP, including two former state presidents. They wanted him to hush up a murder case against members of the Village Defence Committee (VDC) in Swara, Doda.
Wani claims to have recorded phone conversations with politicians where they said they would withdraw FIR against him if he agreed to withdraw his investigation into the murder cases against the VDC members. One of the leaders he claims spoke to him is now a BJP MLA from that area. But, Wani says, unsure of their word, he chose not to give in. He decided to continue his investigation into the murder case. This defiance turned the BJP leaders against him.
What case BJP leader wanted to stop investigation?
On 17 May 2006, near Swara village in Doda, militants had intercepted a Tata Sumo car which had only the family of local BJP leader Mela Ram and his personal security officer (PSO) inside it. The militants took the rifle away from Ram’s PSO and allowed them all to leave unharmed.
The PSO went to the nearest VDC guards and complained about the militant stealing his rifle. To avoid any kind of investigation into the stolen rifle, the guards fired indiscriminately into the air to feign a confrontation with militants which they could use to justify losing the rifle. Farooq Ahmad Khan (28), who was grazing his sheep nearby, was fatally hit by one of these stray bullets. He was declared ‘brought dead’ at Public Health Centre (PHC) in Gandoh.
An FIR was filed by Khan’s family under sections 302 and 109 of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) against the members of the VDC at the Gandoh police station. Wani got the case as he was the additional SHO of the police station.
His investigation proved the case against the VDC members. A chargesheet was filed against six accused members of the VDC on 2 July 2007. However, Wani was transferred before the chargesheet was filed. He says that during this time, BJP leaders left no stone unturned in exerting pressure on him. He named a former BJP state President, DK Kotwal, as one of those pressurizing him.
The murder and rape charges leveled against Wani stem from the following case.
On 2 April 2007, in a family dispute, a man called Madan Lal was killed. Wani got the case as he was posted as the SHO of the Karara police station, where the incident occurred.
Madan Lal’s father, Fulail Singh, his step-brother, Rishi Kumar, his sister, and other family members were called in for questioning. The trial records categorically state that the sister was questioned while other family, relatives and the sarpanch of the village, Mohammad Ramzan, was present.
Since it was getting late in the evening, Ramzan insisted that the girl and her sister-in-law (wife of the deceased) stay at the police post and return to Chirala the next day. On 19 April, Lal’s father and step-brother Rishi Kumar, along with some more family members, were arrested. Rishi was taken to a judicial magistrate for remand on 20 April 2007. But Rishi fell ill on the same day and had to be rushed by Wani to the local public healthcare centre. He was referred to the District Hospital in Doda and therefrom to Government Medical College (GMC) Jammu on 22 April.
He, however, died on 24 April and Wani was there all along, Both charges made against Wani were made to bend him down.
After Rishi died, his family filed a case of custodial killing against Wani. And that’s how the first charge was levied on 24 April.
A day after Rishi’s death, his sister accused Wani of holding her against her will in his room in the Karara police post. She said he beat her and raped her repeatedly for seven days – he was subsequently charged with rape, and was suspended a day later.
Wani, whose marriage was approaching, fell into depression. He was treated by private psychiatrists and a government hospital for psychiatric diseases in Srinagar from June 2007 onwards. His marriage was called off.
Wani says these charges were levied against him to put pressure on him, as this was also the time that the chargesheet against the six accused in the VDC murder case was being filed. The BJP offered him a deal: They would withdraw both cases if he only shut down the VDC investigation.
Inquiry & acquittal.
Wani surrendered on 12 October 2009 and was granted bail on 8 March 2011. Meanwhile, trial in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Doda commenced in the murder case from 8 April 2009 and in the rape case from 22 October 2010.
For the rape charge, the police didn’t find any material or circumstantial evidence of “recent rape”. It was also proved that Wani was at the Karara police post for only six of the seven days during which was accused of raping Rishi’s sister. The complainant in the rape case was repeatedly summoned to court, but she didn’t appear even once for about eight years.
Eleven months after April 2007, a Deputy SP got her statement recorded under section 164-A Cr PC before a magistrate in Jammu. The statement given by the woman didn’t identify witnesses. Even the original copy was not provided to the trial court. And, she chose not to appear for cross-examination.
Similarly in the murder case, court documents stated that Rishi had high jaundice levels that contributed to his death, and noted that there were no external injury marks or injuries in his vital organs.
On 11 May 2017, Additional Sessions Judge Doda dismissed both the cases as not admitted and acquitted Wani of all the charges.
Back to service.
The inquiry was conducted by three successive senior superintendents of police and supervised by two DIGs of Doda, Munish Kumar Sinha and Basant Kumar Rath. IGP Jammu SD Singh Jamwal accepted the fresh report submitted by DIG Basant Rath and ordered Wani’s total exoneration and reinstatement with full benefits.
Munish Kumar Sinha, who was DIG Doda then and now is IGP and posted as Joint Director with CBI, told The Kashmiriyat.