After Decade, J&K HC Orders Resumption Of Nadimarg Massacre Trial

Srinagar | Updated: 29 October, 2022 5:37 pm IST
The trial was abruptly halted in 2011.

The trial in the killing of 24 Kashmiri Pandits in Pulwama, infamously known as the Nadimarg massacre, will be resumed around a decade after it was abruptly halted, ordered the High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Saturday.

In March 2003, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, dressed in military camouflage, lined up 11 men, 11 women, and two children of the Kashmiri Pandit community and shot them dead in Nadimarg village of Pulwama district in southern parts of the Valley.

The high court allowed a revision petition filed by the government against the 2011 order passed by a trial court in Shopian and directed for examination of the witnesses.

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“In view of the well-settled legal position laid down by the Supreme Court, I am of the view that the court below has dismissed the application of the prosecution-State for examining the witness on commission on the irrelevant consideration while overlooking the material and relevant aspects of the case,” said a bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul.

It directed for taking all the necessary measures for “ensuring the examination of the witnesses concerned by issuing commission and/or recording their statement videoconferencing” in an “expeditious” manner.

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According to the prosecution, the witnesses had migrated out of Kashmir and were reluctant to depose before the trial court in Shopian due to threats.

On August 25 this year, the high court recalled its December 21, 2011 order which had upheld the February 2011 order by the principal sessions judge in Shopian, putting a pause on the trial.

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In response, the then state government had filed a petition before the high court, seeking directions for a fresh trial or transfer of the case to any court in Jammu so that statements of all the witnesses can be recorded without any fear. The petition, however, was dismissed.

The police had filed a case under sections 302, 450, 395, 307, 120-B, 326, 427 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), section 7/27 of the Arms Act and section 30 of the Police Act.

Initially, the case was tried in the court of principal sessions judge in Pulwama but was later transferred to Shopian.

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