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2 months on, no breakthrough in Jammu youth's custodial killing

2 months on, no breakthrough in Jammu youth's custodial killing

Author: Mohit Kandhari
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: December 14, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/222577/2-months-on-no-breakthrough-in-Jammu-youth's-custodial-killing.html

More than two months have passed since mortal remains of Rajneesh Sharma were immersed in the holy waters of Ganges on his last journey but the lethargic Omar Abdullah Government has failed to unravel the mystery behind his alleged custodial killing.

After twin postmortems were conducted on the body of the victim, who died on October 5, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar entrusted with the job of investigating the sensitive case has also failed to submit his report to the Government in the absence of receipt of a conclusive postmortem report.

Ironically, human rights activists in the State have not uttered a single word in support of the Jammu businessman who was allegedly killed in police custody a few days after he married Valley-based Muslim girl Amina Yousaf nee Anchal Sharma.

Immediately after the mysterious death of Rajneesh inside Ram Munshi Bagh police station was reported, a postmortem was performed in Srinagar on October 6 before shifting his body to Jammu besides ordering a magisterial probe.

After family members of Rajneesh had raised the issue of alleged brutal torture inside police custody and public anger spilled over to the streets of Jammu, Deputy Commissioner of Jammu MK Dwivedi too ordered a postmortem.

Moving swiftly in the matter a three-member panel of doctors was constituted to perform the second postmortem in Jammu as tempers ran high.

The doctors, who conducted the postmortem on October 8 comprised KK Thakur of Forensic Medicines Department, Government Medical College (GMC), Jammu, Ishtiyaq, Surgery Department and KK Bhardwaj, Pathology Department.

The preliminary report submitted by the panel also confirmed presence of multiple marks of torture and injuries all over the body of the victim. The doctors had also sent samples to the Forensic Science Laboratory to prepare viscera report and conduct pathology tests to ascertain the nature of injury marks found on the person of Rajneesh at the time of his death.

Official sources confirmed to The Pioneer that final viscera reports have been submitted to the panel of doctors in the third week of October to enable them to draw their conclusions, but the final report has not been submitted to the Additional DC Srinagar.

"Office of the Jammu Deputy Commissioner had accorded top priority to the sensitive case, and immediately after receiving the viscera samples, we had conducted the tests and forwarded our report to the doctors on October 22," a senior officer of the FSL said.

When asked about the conclusion drawn in the viscera report, the high ranking official revealed that the death was not caused due to any poisonous substance. I cannot comment further as it is up to the board of doctors to draw conclusions on the basis of test reports.

Interestingly when one of the three members was contacted for his comments, the senior consultant feigned ignorance about the FSL report and claimed that they were still awaiting FSL report to form their opinion.

Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Mohd Akbar Ganai maintained that he was awaiting conclusive postmortem report from the board of doctors in Jammu to conclude his probe report at the earliest.

At the same time volunteers of the Mahila Sanrakshan Samiti, spearheading a campaign on behalf of family members of Rajneesh and his widow Anchal Sharma, have decided to call on the J&K Governor NN Vohra to intervene in the matter at the earliest and direct the State Government to order a CBI probe into the matter so that killers of Rajneesh can be unmasked.

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