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Antony assures probe into the death of Captain Sumit Kohli

August 28, 2010 12:36 IST

Veena Kohli, mother of Captain Sumit Kohli who died under mysterious circumstances in 2006, on Saturday met Defence Minister A K Antony and demanded an independent probe into her son's death.

Kohli, who was accompanied by her daughter Namrata and her advocate Major Guneep Chaudhary, appealed to Antony to provide justice to the family as she believes her son was murdered at the Army residential complex in Jammu and Kashmir by his fellow officers.

Accusing the Army of tarnishing her son's image by claiming that he committed suicide due to personal reasons, Kohli demanded that the honour of her son, who was a gallantry medal winner, be restored.

Namrata said Antony had assured the family, which hails from Chandigarh, that they would get the case re-investigated independently and get back to the family there after.

"We met the defence minister for nearly 15-20 minutes and sought an independent inquiry into my brother's death and he has assured us of an independent probe," Namrata said.

Captain Kohli, who was serving with the 18 Rashtriya Rifles, was found dead with gunshot wounds in his room in the military barracks in Lolab on April 30, 2006, just two months after being decorated with the Shaurya Chakra, the third highest peace time gallantry medal.

His father, who suffered a stroke after hearing of his son's death, died a day after Captain Kohli's cremation. Since then, Veena Kohli had made several attempts to seek information and documents such as the post-mortem report relating to the young captain's death.

Her efforts to get the Army to part with information through the Right to Information Act failed after the Army headquarters pleaded that the law did not apply in Jammu and Kashmir.

She then moved the Delhi high court, which ordered the Army to supply the related documents. Her advocate said that perusal of the documents led to suspicion about the circumstances of Captain Kohli's death, including contradictory reports in the autopsy and medical reports.

"We have submitted a copy of these documents also to the defence minister, who heard us patiently and assured a re-investigation into the death of the young officer," Chaudhary said.

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