Murder charges filed in Kashmiri women’s killings

June 10th, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Srinagar, June 10 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Police Wednesday registered murder cases after the doctors who examined the bodies of two women - whose deaths last month sparked off widespread protests in the valley - confirmed that both had been murdered.
The doctors who had carried out the autopsies on the bodies told a single-member judicial commission headed by Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan that the two women had died because of physical assault.

A forensic report earlier this week had confirmed that 17-year-old Asiya and her pregnant sister-in-law Neelofar Jan, 22, were raped.

“An FIR under sections 376 (rape) and 302 (murder) has been registered,” a police officer said here.

The bodies of the two women were found near a stream in Shopian town May 30. The Kashmir Valley simmered for eight days amid allegations that the women were gangraped and murdered by the security forces.

Violent protests rocked the entire valley since the incident, triggering a fresh wave of unrest at a time when the tourist season had started to pick up. One person was killed and over 130 people were injured in the protests. The valley also observed a continuous shutdown for eight days and normalcy returned only Tuesday.

On Wednesday, hundreds of girl students in Srinagar and other major cities and towns of the valley carried out peaceful demonstrations against the crime.

Tension was high in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts, where educational institutions, banks and markets remained closed and public transport was off the roads for the 10th day Wednesday.

The state police chief has constituted a three member special investigation team to probe the killing of the two women.

The state government also transferred Shopian’s police chief.

The government had earlier ruled out foul play in the death of the women but Chief Minister Omar Abdullah later said he had been misled by the district administration.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram will visit here Thursday to review the security scenario in the state in the wake of the unrest in the valley.

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