Politicians and the media have no right to criticise a police investigation report that exonerated policemen involved in last month's controversial encounter in Srinagar, the Jammu and Kashmir Police said on Friday, reiterating its warning for leaders who have termed the investigation a cover-up and concocted.
Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police, said that the probe into the Hyderpora encounter was transparent and he "feels hurt" by the criticism of political leaders.
"We feel hurt about the utterances. If they have evidence, they should present it to the investigation panel. Their remarks are unlawful and law will take its own course," said Mr Dilbag Singh, Director General of Police.
The police have warned political leaders with penal action for their statements against the investigation report by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the controversial encounter on November 15.
The police justified its warning and said only a court can decide if the investigation by the SIT was right or wrong, not the politicians or media or the families of those killed in the contentious encounter.
"Court and judge will decide if the investigation was wrong. Not politicians, family members or media persons - they have no such right. If they do so, then they don't know their profession - also those who have held high positions like Chief Ministers and controlled Home Department - they know about policing. I request these leaders don't instigate people. Let the court decide," said Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police.
The police probe in question has been rejected by all political parties in Kashmir who have demanded a judicial inquiry.
Two former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Farooq Abdullah have hit back at the police saying bullying them into silence will not work and that the probe is fabricated and there should be a judicial inquiry.
Remarks on the SIT probe by different policial parties isn't mere speculation. They are grounded in facts. The administration's aversion & discomfort with truth coming to the fore is well known. Bullying us into silence by 'penal action' warnings wont work. https://t.co/4i3kCA9U7h— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) December 30, 2021
"The police report is wrong. They have done it today save themselves... police have killed them - there is no doubt. I want there should be a judicial inquiry," said Farooq Abdullah.
On Tuesday, a special investigation team of the police concluded that two civilians - a doctor and a businessman were either used as a human shield by terrorists or killed by them during the encounter. At the same time, the SIT accused Dr Mudasir of harbouring terrorists and businessmen Altaf Bhat of concealing information about the presence of terrorists in a building he owned.
Sujit Kumar, the SIT chief said, a third civilian Amir Magray who was working at Dr Mudasir's office was a close associate of a Pakistani terrorist and his activities showed that he too was a terrorist.
The families of the three men, however, allege that they were killed in a staged encounter by the security forces.
Other allegations against Amir and his activities that Mr Kumar believed were pertinent are: "Amir was frequently visiting Bandipora district and had also started smoking."
Quoting teachers of a seminary in Bandipora, the SIT chief said Amir's behaviour had also changed and he was not punctual in Namaz (prayers offered five times a day by Muslims).
Amir is the son of a known anti-terrorism crusader in the Ramban district. Mohammad Latief Magray who vouches for the innocence of his son has now filed a petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking the return of his son's body.
The SIT chief admitted that Amir was initially let go after searches during the operation - and didn't escape even after he left the building and waited in a nearby hospital before he was called back to operation site.