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Two J-K doctors dismissed for fabricating evidence in 2009 ‘Shopian rape-murder’ case

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SRINAGAR, June 22 (PTI): The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday terminated services of two doctors for allegedly “actively working” with Pakistan-based groups and fabricating evidence in the 2009 “Shopian rape-murder” case, officials here said.

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Two women, Asiya Jan and Neelofar, were found dead in a stream in Shopian on May 30, 2009, leading to allegations that they were raped and murdered by security personnel.

The incident sparked protests in Kashmir and brought it to a near standstill for 42 days. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe and found that the two women were never raped or murdered.

The two doctors, Dr Bilal Ahmad Dalal and Dr Nighat Shaheen Chilloo, stand dismissed from service for “actively working” with Pakistan and hatching a conspiracy with its assets within Kashmir to falsify the post-mortem report of Asiya Jan and Neelofar of Shopian, who had unfortunately died due to accidental drowning on May 29, 2009, the officials said.

The ultimate aim of the two doctors was to create disaffection against the Indian state by falsely accusing the security forces of rape and murder, they said.

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The two have been charge-sheeted by the CBI for fabricating evidence and twisting the accidental deaths due to drowning as rape and murder.

Dalal was the first doctor to conduct an autopsy of the bodies, whereas Chilloo was a part of the second team of doctors that conducted post-mortem examination, the officials said.

In a gross violation of medical ethics, Chilloo took her own vaginal swab and projected it to be of Asiya Jan, who she had claimed was raped and murdered, they said.

However, an AIIMS forensic team comprising Dr T D Dogra and Dr Anupama Raina got the bodies exhumed and found that Asiya Jan’s hymen was intact. The same reports were part of the CBI charge sheet, they said.

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In December 2009, the CBI concluded that the two women were neither raped nor murdered.

The CBI filed a charge sheet against six doctors, five lawyers and two civilians, including the brother of one of the deceased women, for fabricating evidence.

Five police officials were arrested in connection with the case and the subsequent protests. Two senior police officials were also transferred.

The 66-page CBI report absolved the policemen, who were detained in connection with the case for around 47 days and against whom a state-appointed judicial commission had levelled charges of destruction of evidence, of all the charges.

The CBI report accused the 13 people of hatching a criminal conspiracy to stir public anger against the security forces.

Since neither rape nor murder took place, the CBI report concluded that there was no case. It said the lawyers had hatched a conspiracy and forced two persons to become witnesses.

The CBI report gave a detailed account of how the two were forced by the lawyers and some of the family members of Shakeel Ahanger, the husband of one of the deceased women.

The agency also rejected the theory of the Majlis-s-Maashwarat, an amalgam of separatist groups that spearheaded the agitation in Shopian, that the two women were abducted, raped and murdered when they had gone to their orchard on May 29, 2009.

According to the CBI, the two women drowned while trying to cross the river.

AIIMS’ doctors who conducted post-mortem examination on the exhumed bodies found the same diatoms (algae) in the lungs of two women that exist in the area where the bodies were found.

The CBI probe found that both teams of doctors lied in the post-mortem reports. The first team of doctors said Asiya Jan died due to cardiovascular arrest and Neelofar died due to neurogenic shock.

The second team of doctors from Pulwama claimed Asiya Jan was sexually assaulted and died due to haemorrhage and shock caused by bleeding from multiple injuries. Neelofar, the team had claimed, died due to neurogenic shock following sexual intercourse.

The CBI report quoted the medical opinion of AIIMS doctors who conclusively stated that the deaths took place “due to asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning”. It said the lacerated wound on Asiya Jan’s forehead was not sufficient to cause death.


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