Pathribal incident: IPS officer reinstated after clean chit

Pathribal incident: IPS officer reinstated after clean chit
Jammu, Sep 15 (PTI) A Senior Suprintendent of Police (SSP), who was placed under suspension in connection with the Pathribal massacre in 2000, has been reinstated after two and a half years following his exnoneration by CBI, a top state government official said today.

"The order reinstating Farooq Khan has been issued yesterday as CBI has exonerated him of the charges of fake killings of five persons in Pathribal in Anantnag district of south Kashmir in 2000", the official told PTI.

Khan, who at present is attached with the Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, was reinstated after remaining in suspension for 30 months.

"I am neither happy nor sad. Justice delayed is justice denied and it took over two and a half years to get me reinstated even though I was not a culprit," said Khan, who was suspended by the Mufti Sayeed government in April 2003.

Government sources said his reinstatement came after the Under Secretary in Union Home Ministry Y P Dhingra had on July 27, 2005 written to the Jammu and Kashmir government to revoke the suspension of the IPS officer as he has been cleared by the Central Administratve Tribunal (CAT) and CBI in the controversial incident.

The Pathribal incident dates back to March 25, 2000 in which the army claimed to have killed five militants, who were allegedly involved in the massacre of 36 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora village four days before.

The CBI, in its probe held six army officers guilty, but gave a clean chit to SSP Khan.

The Pathribal incident triggered massive public protests, with people claiming that innocent civilians had been killed and passed on as militants. Farooq Khan was SSP, Anantnag and was transferred a day after police fired on a public demonstration on April 3, 2000.

Later, the bodies of Pathribal victims were exhumed and DNA samples of the victims and their relatives sent for forensic tests to Kolkata and Hyderabad in the presence of the newly posted police officers.

However, following a report in a national daily in 2003 that the DNA samples of Pathribal victims were "fudged" in a bid to shield those responsible for the killings, Sayeed government consituted a Commission in July 2003 even as the probe was transferred to CBI in February the same year.

The Kuchhey Commission had held SSP Farooq Khan responsible for fudging DNA samples of the victims.

Khan had moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which ruled in his favour in October 2004. He even approached the JK High Court which quashed the findings of the Commission and ordered the revocation of Khan's suspension. The state government tried to obtain a stay but it was rejected by a double bench of the court in December last year.

Close to CAT's order CBI and Union Home Ministry cleared Farooq Khan's name but the latest order extending his suspension by three months came on July 29, 2005, government sources said. Only last week, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed had told reporters that the suspended IPS official would be reinstated "very soon.


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