Srinagar, March 14, CNS: Family members of the seven victims of the Saderkoot massacre of 5 October 1996 have been threatened by Abdul Rashid Parray (Rashid Billa), who along with other ex-Ikhwan (government gunmen) have been found by the police to have carried out the massacre.
As per a statement from Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a neighbor of the families had visited Amritsar, Punjab, a few days back, and on his return informed the families on 8 March 2017 that he had met Abdul Rashid Parray on the roadside in Amritsar. Abdul Rashid Parray told him that he would not spare the family members of the victims who have been seeking justice in this case.
This is the latest of threats issued by Abdul Rashid Parray in a 21 year old case where despite FIR no.125/1996 having been filed, the police has sought to assist the accused who continue to evade arrest. In fact, the accused have been allowed to roam freely. Following the case being taken before the High Court, the police was pressurized to initiate proceedings for the seizure of the property of the accused. But, in reality, the accused continue to enjoy access to their properties and, as can be seen from the latest threats issued, the accused appear to have no fear of the police or courts. On 27 February 2017, the family members of the victims, in a public gathering, asked the Senior Superintendent of Police, Bandipora, to ensure police protection for the families, and ensure the arrest of the accused and for the chargesheet to be filed.
Following the latest threat, an application has been made to the concerned police authorities to provide police protection, immediately file a FIR into this matter and ensure the arrest of the accused. The next date of hearing before the High Court is on 17 March 2017.
Despite the obstacles, and the direct and immediate threat to life, the family members of the victims will continue their struggle. (CNS)