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Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Govt. fudges DNA samples to cover up killings|
|03/06/02 at 22:39:29|
J&K fudges DNA samples to cover up killings
HINA KAUSAR ALAM & P BALU
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 06, 2002 2:09:39 AM ]
HYDERABAD: The Jammu and Kashmir government fudged DNA samples taken from the relatives of five alleged terrorists killed in a joint police-Army operation in March 2000 to ensure it could not be accused of having murdered innocent civilians in a fake encounter.
At that time, the Centre had said the five were Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, who were responsible for the massacre of Sikh villagers in Chittisinghpura. The bodies were exhumed from Panchalthan, near Anantnag, after widespread protests. However, five families in the Anantnag area identified the charred, decomposed bodies as that of their relatives who had gone missing after the Chittisinghpura incident. But the government said no action would be taken against the security personnel until DNA testing conclusively proved the identity of the five bodies.
DNA samples were collected from the bodies and from eight relatives and sent in April 2000 to the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad, an autonomous institute under the Union Department of Science and Technology. To ensure the tests would prove negative, officials apparently tampered with the relatives’ DNA samples. However, they did not realise that the DNA test would also be able to expose their attempts at a cover-up.
While the report says the samples of the alleged terrorists do not match with the persons who claimed the deceased were their relatives, it also conclusively points towards a cover-up operation. For more than a year, the J&K government has been sitting over the damning report from Hyderabad.
The results of the DNA tests in case No. 783-78/ADM of Anantnag police station, under CDFD case No. 685 and DNA typing report LS/DNA-FP/2001-645, were forwarded to the senior superintendent of police, Anantnag, on February 26, 2001. However, when contacted by The Times of India, J&K chief secretary denied any knowledge of the DNA report and said as far as he was aware, the J&K government was still waiting to hear from Hyderabad.
In all, the authorities in Anantnag sent 15 samples from the five exhumed bodies along with blood samples of eight persons who were said to be the relatives of the slain persons.
The exhumed bodies were identified as Zahoor Ahmad Dalal of Moominabad, Bashir Ahmad of Halan, Muhammad Yousuf Malik of Halan, Juma Khan s/o Faqir Khan of Brari Angan and Juma Khan s/o Amir Ullah Khan of Brari Angan.
While DNA samples purported to have been collected from the relatives did not match with the DNA isolated from the exhumed bodies, in three cases, the samples of women relatives were found to have come from men, something that is said to have come as a shock to the forensic scientists.
The report, details of which were made available to The Times of India, is unequivocal in saying that samples from females Raja Bano, Nayeema Ara and Rafiqa in fact came from males. It says the sources of exhibits D (Raja Bano’s sample), E (Nayeema Ara's sample) and S (Rafiqa's sample) are male in origin. "Their identity cards show they are females, (but) DNA results show that they are from human males," the report says.
The cover-up strongly suggests the switching of DNA samples was a desperate attempt to disprove the claims of the relatives that the slain men were their relatives and had nothing to do with the Chittisinghpora massacre.
The report makes another interesting observation. It says: "The sources of exhibit E (Nayeema Ara's sample) contains DNA of two individuals. This is the blood sample of the suspected sister of the body exhumed from grave 1. DNA results indicated that the blood sample of the source of exhibit is a mixture of two blood samples."
The report gives rise to doubts about whether any of the samples of the relatives sent by the authorities for DNA testing at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics belonged to the relatives at all.
(With inputs from Times News Network, New Delhi)
|Re: Govt. fudges DNA samples to cover up killings|
|03/06/02 at 22:46:30|
Panchalthan case - What happened ?
JYOTIRMAYA SHARMA & SIDDHARTH VARADARAJAN
TIMES NEWS NETWORK [ WEDNESDAY, MARCH 06, 2002 2:11:50 AM ]
EW DELHI/HYDERABAD: On March 20, 2000, terrorists entered the remote Kashmir village of Chittisinghpora and gunned down 35 Sikhs. US president Bill Clinton was visiting India and the massacre brought the Kashmir issue into sharp international focus.
India accused Pakistan of orchestrating the killing, and Pakistan blamed India. Five days later, on March 25, the Kashmir government announced that five Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists responsible for the massacre had been surrounded and killed in a ferocious encounter in Panchalthan village with the state’s Special Operations Group SOG) and the Army’s Rashtriya Rifles.
Union Home Minister L K Advani, during his visit to Anantnag, congratulated the security forces for “eliminating the butchers responsible for the Chittisinghpora massacre’’.
One day before this encounter supposedly took place, five men from in and around Anantnag had gone missing. Zahoor Dalal, a young cloth merchant, was last seen by neighbours being bundled into a van.
According to district officials, the van had earlier been seized by the police. An officer surreptitiously commandeered it for the abduction, but unknown to him, a vigilant constable noted his action in the station roznamcha.
The same evening, Bashir Ahmad and Mohammad Malik of Halan village — in Anantnag collecting payment for sheepskins they had sold — also went missing. In Brari Angan village, some 25 km from town, uniformed men dragged away two people, both named Juma Khan. They, too, would never be seen again.
As the days went by and the five men never reappeared, their relatives began suspecting foul play. Word spread that the five alleged terrorists killed at Panchalthan were none other than the civilians who had gone missing. An agitation began which culminated in a terrible incident on April 3, when the security forces opened fire on unarmed protestors at a village near Anantnag called Brakpora, killing eight people.
In order to placate public sentiment, Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah finally agreed to exhume the bodies from Panchalthan. This was done on April 6. Despite having been burned beyond recognition, the five families positively identified the bodies on the basis of clothes and other markings. The authorities let them take away the bodies but said any payment of compensation and registration of criminal charges against the policemen and soldiers who had taken part in the ‘encounter’ would have to wait until DNA testing proved conclusively that the five were whom the relatives claimed they were.
Obviously, the J&K government was not prepared to risk genuine DNA testing for fear that the villagers’ allegations might, in fact, turn out to be completely true. By fudging the DNA samples, as the report of the Hyderabad-based Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics makes amply clear, the state authorities have only ensured that the needle of suspicion will continue to point firmly in their direction.
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