Killed in ‘gunfight’, Bandipora family awaits inquiry report, demands justice

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Bandipora: Dismayed by the Jammu and Kashmir government’s response in digging out the truth about the alleged “fake gunfight” of their son in Shahgund village of Bandipora, the family has now decided to move to the Srinagar Press Enclave to demand justice.

Imtiyaz Ahmad Kakroo from Shahgund village of Bandipora in north Kashmir was killed in a gunfight in Gundjehangir village of Shahgund on 11 October 2021. But the family members of Kakroo and his friends rebutted the police statement claiming that he was killed in a “fake gunfight”, which the police denied.

Talking to The Kashmir Walla, the family of Imtiyaz Ahmad Kakroo said it was waiting for the outcome of the probe, and return of body from the government for the last three months. “Kakroo was the sole bread earner of his family. More than three months have passed and the government is yet to give us the body and justice, the family said.

According to the family, Kakroo was getting ready for his usual work when in the morning, an army vehicle stopped outside his home lane and arrested him. 

Before getting into the army vehicle, “Imtiyaz had promised his family that he would return home. The army had assured the family that Kakroo would be returned to the family after some investigation. “Neither he returned, nor was his body given back,” the family said. 

They said the family didn’t look for Kakroo after the army assurance. “Now the irony is the police and army claim he was killed in a gunfight”. 

After a few hours of arresting Kakroo, according to the family, the police raided our home and arrested all male members who were only released after their son was killed,” said Ishfaq Kakroo, Kakroo’s cousin.

“We are desperately waiting for the body and an impartial probe into the killing of my son,” said his father, Farooq Ahmad Kakroo.

“My son and I were jailed when they arrested and killed my son. We were given a mere chance to have the last glimpse of our son in the police station. They killed him in cold blood,” his father told The Kashmir Walla at their home in Shahgund village.

 On 7 December, the government-appointed Assistant Commissioner Revenue Bandipora Parvez Rahim as an Inquiry Officer (IO) to probe the incident and directed him to submit the report in a stipulated time.

The magisterial probe was ordered after Kakroo’s family staged a daylong protest in press colony Srinagar to demand the return of his body and justice.

The assistant commissioner revenue Parvez Rahim issued a notification asking eye -witnesses [if anyone] to record their statements within ten days from 8 to 17 December. 

Kakroo’s brother Mumtaz Ahmad Kakroo said that almost two months are near to end but, our demand for justice has not been granted.” 

 “Our statements were already recorded at the Assistant Commissioner Revenue’s office, but we don’t understand when the results will be declared publicly. We have been sleepless since my brother was killed,” Mumtaz said.

I am scared that my brother’s probe inquiry should not meet the same fate as the Hyderpora gunfight, he said. “Everything is in their hands. They can turn red into blue. They have power.

“We are a poor family. We don’t know how to demand justice. While pursuing justice for our son, we fear they might kill us like they kill our son,” Mumtaz said.

Kakroo’s sister Afroza said that we are looking forward to the probe results of my brother, who was snatched from us.

It is cumbersome that the government takes so much time to investigate it. More than three months have already passed and we are yet to receive justice. How long we shall wait. It seems the government has forgotten about the killing of my brother, she said.

Afroza appealed to the Senior Superintendent of Police [SSP] Bandipora Muhammad Zahid and Inspector General of Police [IGP] Kashmir to intervene personally and ensure justice.

“In case justice is delayed we will protest in the press colony,” she said.

Assistant Commissioner Revenue Bandipora Parvez Rahim, who is an inquiry Officer of the incident, told Kashmir Walla that, “We have recorded all the statements from the eyewitness including of the family’s account. I visited the spot of the encounter myself recently. Hopefully, I will submit the report in a day to the District Magistrate Bandipora.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, refused to comment on the issue and told this reporter to talk with District Magistrate Bandipora.

However, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora Owais Ahmad didn’t respond to the questionnaire sent by this reporter on WhatsApp. 

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