1990 Handwara massacre: SHRC issues notice to DC Kupwara

The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Monday said that the “unresponsive” attitude of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kupwara ‘cannot be appreciated’ and issued a notice to him (DC) under section 17 of J&K Protection of Human Rights Act with regard to the ex-gratia relief to civilians killed in 1990 Handwara massacre.

The Commission also asked concerned officials to issue ‘advertisement’ notice through local newspapers to publish an advertisement regarding the four deceased who were among the 22 civilians killed in 1990 Handwara massacre.
The petitioner of the case and chairman of International Forum of Justice (IFJ) Ahsan Untoo said that the chairperson of the Commission Justice (Retd) Bilal Nazki while hearing the case said, “We are not getting a response from DC Kupwara. Orders were sent to him even through fax. This attitude of Deputy Commissioner cannot be appreciated. Let a copy of this order go to the Chief Secretary for his information.”

Nazki said, “Since Deputy Commissioner has failed to issue an advertisement in the newspapers from 15.02.2018. Therefore let this office issue a notice to local newspapers regarding the subject matter. The advertisement should request NOKs of four deceased persons to appear before the Commission. Copy of this order be also sent to Press.”
During the hearing of the case, it was stated that “The Additional Deputy Commissioner (DC) stated that their NOKs were not located in Handwara. NOKs of other deceased persons have received ex-gratia. Police have confirmed that these four persons have died in the incident.”

In the document, it was also stated that it was the duty of the DC to find out the particulars and residential address of the NOKs of these four persons. District Administration shall file a report by next date. From the report of DGP prima-facie, it appears that the case FIR No. 119/1990 has been closed although there was evidence available to proceed in the matter.
The documents provided by the petitioner also read that the Commission while hearing the case has said that the District Administration (Kupwara) has not responded to (its order). Since the name of the deceased persons are mentioned in the report and it is admitted that they have been killed. Therefore, it is directed that the DC may issue advertisement in the local newspaper so that NOKs of these deceased persons are located and ex- gratia relief already sanctioned in their favour be disbursed.”