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J&K: Two Doctors Who Conducted Autopsy in 2009 'Rape & Murder' Case, Sacked

Anees Zargar |
The duo were involved in fabricating evidence and falsely accusing security forces of creating dissatisfaction among the people.
J&K EMP Termination

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration has terminated two doctors, Dr Bilal Ahmad Dalal and Dr Nighat Shaheen Chilloo, who carried out the autopsies of two women, Asiya and Neelofer in 2009, sparking protests after initial claims of their “rape and murder” by security forces. 

The authorities on Friday issued termination notices – 14 years after the incident – that the duo were involved in fabricating the evidence and falsely accusing the security forces of creating dissatisfaction amongst the people against the forces. The Lt. Governor-led administration has invoked Article 311 (2) (c) of the Constitution of India to sack the two doctors. 

“The Lieutenant Governor is satisfied, after considering the facts and circumstances of the case and on the basis of the information available, that the activities of Dr Bilal Ahmad Dalal, Medical Officer, NTPHC Takiya Imam Sahib, Shopian (Health and Medical Education Department)... are as such to warrant his dismissal from service,” the official order read. 

The officials said that the doctors acted on behalf of the “inimical forces and paved the way for Pakistan’s proxies to create unrest in the region by creating false evidence and even went to the extent of replacing biological samples to implicate innocent police officers.”

22-year-old Neelofer Jan and 17-year-old Asiya Jan went missing from their orchard in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on May 29, 2009, and were found dead the next day; their bodies recovered from a stream-Rambi Ara. The locals in Shopian, who had formed a committee called the Majlis-e-Mushawarat in the aftermath of the incident, believed that the women had been assaulted, following which the Jammu and Kashmir Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) under Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The deaths triggered widespread protests bringing the region to a grinding halt for the next 42 days. Hurriyat leaders, including the late Syed Ali Geelani, issued the protest calls. The government led by National Conference’s Omar Abdullah, however, claimed that the two women, related as sisters-in-law, had, in fact, drowned in the stream, which was later corroborated through a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

A year later, in 2010, the valley witnessed one of the most violent summers leading to widespread protests, stone-pelting and demonstrations. Over 100 civilians, mostly youth, were killed during the protest, further denting the government under Chief Minister Omar. 

Nearly 50 employees have been terminated from government services in Jammu and Kashmir under Article 311 since May 2021. The employees included teachers, policemen, University professors and doctors for their alleged role in separatism and militancy in the region. Earlier in March, three government employees, including a junior engineer, were terminated from their services under the special provisions which do not require any departmental inquiry. 

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