CISF And Police Fight In Court Over Death Of Jammu And Kashmir Teenager

CISF And Police Fight In Court Over Death Of Jammu And Kashmir Teenager

6 March 2012
India Today
Aman Sharma

New Delhi: The CISF and the Jammu & Kashmir government are on a collision course over the chargesheeting of five CISF men for allegedly killing a student in Boniyar in January. CISF director general Rajiv said the action of the J&K Police against the CISF men was illegal and it would be challenged in the high court and the Supreme Court. 'We are protected under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in J&K. So the first illegality was committed when the police arrested our men. Now, they have chargesheeted the five even without seeking a mandatory prosecution sanction from the home ministry. Our men have been in jail for over two months now. Our (internal) inquiry shows they had acted in the line of duty,' the CISF DG said on Monday. The CISF has moved bail applications for its men, saying that the J&K Police have acted at the behest of politicians and the state government. The chargesheet submitted by the J&K Police in a Boniyar court on March 3 charge the men under Section 304 and 308 of the Ranbir Penal Code, which means culpable homicide not amounting to murder and carries a life sentence. The chargesheet states that the CISF men opened fire without provocation on people protesting against power cuts at an NHPC plant in Boniyar on January 2, in which an 18-year-old student Altaf Ahmad was killed. The death triggered massive protests in Baramullah district. Chief minister Omar Abdullah termed the use of force by the CISF as 'inexcusable' and visited the boy's family. He said the CISF men would not get any protection under AFSPA as they were not on a counter-insurgency deployment. Defending the police move to chargesheet the men, J&K inspector general (Kashmir) S.M. Sahai said the CISF men don't enjoy protection under the AFSPA. 'The CISF men are not on internal security duty…hence they are not covered under AFSPA. So we need no permission or sanction to arrest or chargesheet the men,' Sahai contended.