Free Press Journal

JK Crime Branch closes probe into boy’s death that led to 2010 unrest


Srinagar: The Crime Branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police has closed its investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of a teenage boy, which was seen as the trigger for the summer unrest of 2010 in the Valley. The investigating agency, which took over the case following orders from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court last year, closed the case as “untraced”.

“In the present circumstances, no such facts… where from it could be convincingly gathered with exactitude how the death of Tufail Mattoo took place and who was culpably responsible for it,” the Crime Branch said, in its report submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar yesterday.

Mattoo was killed on June 13, 2010 when he was hit by a tear smoke shell allegedly fired by police personnel chasing away protesters. The CJM, Srinagar issued notice to the family of the victim as the case has been closed as untraced. “In the light of law laid down by the Apex Court, I deem it proper to put to notice the complainant at first instance. Office as such is directed to issue summons to complainant and put up the case file on June 3, 2015,” the court said in its order.

The Crime Branch report to the court has underscored that “three varied accounts of eyewitnesses, official witnesses of Police and expert opinion if taken in unison throw up a situation where there can be no conclusive culmination of investigation which would appear commensurate with the merits of the case.”

“The fact is a young life got lost with mystery shrouding the circumstances in which the unfortunate death took place; where eyewitnesses blame that some unidentifiable policemen were responsible for his death while the police and official witnesses present in the area during the law and order duty appear oblivious of what exactly were the circumstances under which the incident took place,” the report added.

The Crime Branch, however, informed the court that “efforts are being kept alive through secret investigation to look for possible clues in future so that in the event of any substantial clue coming to the fore, the investigation of the case is re-opened and proceeded further on merits.”