“Abraham Lincoln has rightly said that if you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.”
Yet the question rises here is, will this action of the Govt which came so late, that too after the pressure of opposition, separatists, social organizations, NGOs and Human Rights (HR) organization, will help in restoring the confidence of general public? Though, the Commission, which was set up on June one after massive protests rocked the Valley over the May 30 alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian, Neelofar Jan and her 18-year-old sister-in-law Asiya Jan on the intervening night of May 29 and 30 is yet to submit its final report to the government but as it has mentioned in its interim report that evidence have been either destroyed or lost or because of the negligence of the district administration, including civil, police and doctors involved in the handling of the incident, vital evidences which could have easily helped in nabbing the culprits were destroyed and lost, indication are clear that the real culprits who have committed the crime may go Scot free.
No doubt the action has been taken by the Govt but it is analyzed that the action has not been taken for the crime, it seems that the action has been initiated against these officials for their failure to maintain the law and order situation, which fuelled the public anger against the coalition government particularly the major partner National Conference (NC).
As indicated by the commission in its interim report towards the loss of evidence, than as how it comes that government will punish the real culprit and what would be those grounds and basis.
It is not only Shopian double rape and murder case, there may be many other, unreported such cases of physical exploitation (sans killing) but it was the general public courage which helped in, at-least, shaking the government to setup a Commission to probe.
It is clear that if Chief Minister (CM) Omar Abdullah had not taken personal pain and Home Minister, P Chidambaram had not promised action against the guilty, this heinous crime would have been hushed-up by our able administration as have been done in countless cases in the past.
One more thing to be pointed here is that, to get justice and such crimes probed, in a bid to punish the real culprit, does a common man need the intervention of Chief Minister of the Union Home Minister at every level. If so, than what for these agencies, administration and other departments are?
Whatever may be the reason for Jammu and Kashmir government for going behind this particular incident and assure the general public that government particularly present Chief Minister (CM) Omar Abdullah has been tying to come-up to the expectation of general public, it is high time for the young Omar Abdullah to open all those cases which were left untouched by the previous coalition Govt in which several big wigs were involved.
It is ironic as stated by the Commission, which was appointed by CM Omar Abdullah on June 3, that several officials were accused of mishandling of the investigation and be suspended also FIRs should also be lodged against these officials.
The worst on the part of police and administration as mentioned in the Commission’s interim report that both have been accused of misinforming the Chief Minister (CM) into initially saying the women had drowned. The part played by both police and the administration indicates either their involvement of inefficiency, as the interim report has suggested action against police officials on the charge of 'destroying evidence' and also pointed the 'needle of suspicion' to their involvement in the crime.
Whatever that may be, CM has to go for some drastic initiatives to reform the entire administrative and police setup from the bottom level so in future the transparency could be mentioned and public faith/trust and confidence can remain intact. It is good that departmental action will also be taken against the doctors who conducted the post-mortem as the Commission was of the view that the conduct of the some of the officials, including doctors who conducted the first post mortem on the victims and an official of the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) had led to loss of crucial evidence.
Relevant to mention here that the Commission had grilled the then SP for nearly six hours spread over two days to explain his conduct in the case. He was questioned as to why he did not attend to the case personally when the bodies of the victims were recovered and did not register an FIR in the case. The FSL official was asked to explain why he did not counter-sign the report of the samples taken from the victims prepared by his laboratory, which was mandatory for processing the reports. The official had reportedly not put his signatures on the report for at least two days, thus delaying the investigations. The government transferred the Deputy Commissioner Shopian within three days of the incident while a week later the SP was also transferred. The incident has kept the entire