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Missing Kashmir youngster: Border cops in trouble

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
March 03, 2007 22:45 IST
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The Jammu and Kashmir high court has ordered the identification parade of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel by the family of a youth missing from Srinagar since 2001.

Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani passed directions ordering that the personnel of the ITBP responsible for the arrest of a south Kashmir village youth Mohammad Ashraf Koka -- a resident of Verinag in Anantnga district in 2001 -- be produced for identification before the family of the disappeared youth.

A party of the paramilitary ITBP soldiers had allegedly arrested Koka, an employee of a local court in Bejibehara town, from his Verinag village in 2001, but queries by the family members to locate the youth at any of the camps of the ITBP had drawn no results.

When the family approached the local Police station at Dooru in Anantnag district for registering the youth's missing report, the station house officer refused to lodge the report.

Subsequently, the family filed a petition before the high court seeking directions for lodgment of the FIR.

Under the high court's orders, the Dooru police later registered the FIR and in the probe that followed, the police indicted the ITBP for the youth's disappearance.

Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani who ordered the production of the ITBP men for identification also allowed six week's time sought by the public prosecutor to produce the involved men since the battalion allegedly responsible for disappearance had moved out of the state and was now posted in Arunachel Pradesh in the Northeast of the country.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar