Cops suspended for destroying evidence in Shopian rape

June 22nd, 2009 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 22 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government suspended four police officers and a forensic scientist Monday, a day after the one-man probe commission criticised them for “committing lapses” which led to the “loss of vital evidence” in the Shopian rape and murder case.
Superintendent of Police Javed Iqbal Matoo, his deputy, a station house officer and an assistant sub-inspector have been suspended after they were found to have “destroyed the evidence”, well informed sources told IANS.

The government had already transferred top civil and police officers of Shopian after two women - Asiya Jan, 17, and her 22-year-old pregnant sister-in-law - were found murdered May 30.

The commission, headed by retired high court judge Muzaffar Jan, confirming the rape and murder, has also severely criticised the role of the medical team and the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for shoddy investigation of the case. The sources said a forensic scientist has also been suspended.

The incident has kept the entire Kashmir Valley on the boil with protests and shutdowns.

The 300-page interim report submitted to the government Sunday has indicted top civil and police officers of the Shopian district for “dereliction of duty and destroying of the evidence”.

The report, sources said, has devoted 70 pages to the observations on the “lapses committed by the Shopian district administration”.”

“Because of the negligence of the district administration, including civil, police and doctors involved in the handling of the incident, vital evidences which could have easily helped in nabbing the culprits were destroyed and lost,” the report said.

Life in south Kashmir Shopian town remained paralyzed for the 22nd day Monday with shops and businesses shut and traffic off the roads.

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