IOK HC Issues Stay Order In Custodial Killing Case

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High Court has stayed a trial court’s proceedings in a case of custodial killing as the criminal Indian policemen involved in the murder of an innocent civilian have moved an application for transferring the case to Jammu.

According to media sources, the Principal District and Sessions Judge, Bandipora, had last month closed the arguments in the custodial killing of 21-year-old Zahoor Ahmad Sofi of Brar village on September 4, 2006 at a camp of Special Operations Group (SOG) of Indian police located at Kaloosa in Bandipora.

A bench of Justice Janak Raj Kotwal at the Jammu wing of the High Court stayed the trial proceedings after the involved policemen sought transfer of the case to Jammu.

Zahoor Ahmad Sofi, a class IV employee at a college, was picked up from his home in front of his parents and relatives by an SOG party. He died after 13 days in custody at the SOG camp.

Last month, at the trial court, a doctor privy to postmortem of Zahoor, deposed that severe physical torture had resulted into his death.

Zahoor’s father, Habibullah Sofi, told a Srinagar-based English daily Kashmir Reader that the policemen involved in the killing of his son were trying to delay the proceedings with an intention to tactically force him not to pursue the matter against them.

“Hasn’t the crime occurred here in Bandipora? All the witnesses are here and this is where the case should be heard,” he said, adding that he had little means to fight this case in Jammu but he was determined not to lose hope. “I will strive for the justice till my last breath. I have also consulted for the transfer application so that the case could be brought back to Bandipora court,” he said.

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