CALL FOR ACTION on CBI COVER-UP!
Let us Protest against CBI cover up report on Shopian Rape and Murder case
DEMAND JUSTICE FOR NEELOFAR AND ASIYA!
A Public Event in New Delhi on 13th December, 2010 at 4 pm in front of CBI office, Delhi.
Come and participate with one white bed sheet with the words ‘TO THE CBI – FOR YOUR NEXT COVER-UP!!!’ written in huge letters across it with the name of the organisation/individual below.
Issued by: Women against Sexual violence and State repression (WSS), Delhi
For more details contact saheliwomen at gmail dot com
Even as the Kashmir valley has been in turmoil, yet again, with excesses by the armed forces, cases of rape and killings remain unresolved especially when involving the police, para military or military.
Shopian Double Death Case: Asiya Jaan and her sister-in-law Neelofar Jaan left home in the evening of 29th May, 2009 but did not return. Their bodies were recovered from the banks of Rambiara Nullah on the morning of 30th of May 2009 in the same spot that a search party including the local police had searched- a very well-lit area- till the early hours of 30th May. The police was very much on the scene but did little to collect evidence; for five days no case was registered. The first post-mortem report (District Hospital, Shopian) and the second-post-mortem report (by a medical team from Pulwama district and analysed at the Forensic Sciences Laboratory, Srinagar) stated rape and murder in its report.
Even as Shopian town observed a 45-day long Bandh the people of Kashmir put aside all other political demands to join this agitation and the people of Jammu also lent solidarity. Further investigations began slowly and progressed in fits and starts. The High Court said that the police were either implicated in the crime or were shielding the culprits. On the basis of the inquiries conducted by the (ex-Justice) Muzaffar Jan Inquiry Commission the interim report was of the view that the two women were sexually assaulted and probably murdered to cover up this crime. It also pointed to acts of omission and commission by members of the civil administration, police and doctors in gross mishandling of investigations.
Amidst the failure of the local police and political pronouncements of the Union Home Minister giving a clean chit to the armed forces before the Parliament, it was decided on September 17, 2009, to hand over the case from a Special investigation Team to the CBI. The CBI, however, built an extra-judicial case and used the media extensively to make all earlier investigations in the case seem motivated or incompetent. Some of the news leaks were simply fantastic – like finding an intact hymen in a body buried for four months and so deny rape, like finding diatoms of Rambiara to show that the women drowned when the Nullah is the source of drinking water for the whole town or like accusing the gynaecologist of substituting her own vaginal swab in the place of those taken from the victims. The CBI concluded that the women died from ‘accidental drowning’! Its report is based upon the autopsy conducted in September, 2009 by forensic experts of AIIMS after exhumation of the buried bodes.
The CBI inquiry is mired in the highly uncertain and contested medical claims of the AIIMS team, allegations of intimidation of many of the witnesses and state representatives and destruction of evidence, the dubious role of many government agencies, incompetence and lack of transparency. It filed supplementary charge-sheets against the State prosecutors, doctors, advocates for the complainant, advocates demanding justice and the family members of the women.
The CBI report states that there was no rape, no murder and that the implicated and suspended policemen were innocent. The report does not explain how the bodies of the two women were invisible to the search party the whole night and appeared suddenly at dawn how these young women drowned in a shallow, two-feet deep Nullah where no deaths have taken place or explained eyewitnesses’ accounts that Neelofar’s body was wet only from one side nor how the hymen can be found intact in a body buried for four months. The policemen’s acts of commission and omission – they did not collect any forensic evidence from the site, did not cordon it, did not register the case- have not been punished; the four suspended policemen have been reinstated. The CBI has not made public the findings of the Special Investigation Team. This calls into serious question the credibility of the CBI Report which has simply tried to bury the case and convinced no one.
We have been following up on this case from the very start. A demonstration demanding justice was held in Delhi in mid- June, 2009 followed by a fact-finding in August, 2009. A press conference on the findings was held prior to the submission of CBI’s final report to the Courts in December, 2009. In May, 2010, with no justice in sight, we wrote an open letter to the Chief Justice of India, to the National Commission for Women and to the National Human Rights Commission which was endorsed by many of you.
WE HAVE HAD NO RESPONSE SO FAR. If the country’s leading investigative agency can apparently facilitate a report to suit the political exigencies of the extant governments, whether at State or Union level, rather than conduct a professional and impartial inquiry that serves the purposes of justice, it points to the levels of both injustice and corruption that subverts the due rights guaranteed in the democratic republic of India. With official channels exhausted we feel that it is time to make the issue public- expose the role of CBI and shame them for this COVER UP.
We propose to send them white bed sheets to shame them for their role in this case. We hope that every one of you, organisation or individual, who feels that the CBI is responsible for perpetrating this injustice, should participate and send us sheets as symbolic gifts to the CBI . –
Send one white bed sheet with the words ‘TO THE CBI – FOR YOUR NEXT COVER-UP!!!’ written in huge letters across it with the name of the organisation/individual below.
WE WILL – collect all white bed sheets and display your solidarity with Neelofar and Asiya and the countless other rapes and sexual assaults that have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir and which have seen NO JUSTICE.
– display all your white bed sheets at a Public Event in New Delhi on 13th December, 2010 to mark the anniversary of CBI ’s handing over its COVER-UP REPORT. THE WHITE BED SHEETS WILL THEN BE GIFTED TO CBI ’S HEADQUARTERS IN DELHI , WITH YOUR COMPLIMENTS.
You can also collect signatures on your sheet from public demonstrations in your region/city.
The Fortnight protesting Violence Against Women could be used to collect signatures in large numbers as many of you might be campaigning and observing this fortnight.
Through this action we want the Home Ministry and the CBI to be aware that we continue to DEMAND JUSTICE FOR NEELOFAR AND ASIYA, for all women of Jammu & Kashmir and for all women of India.