The judicial commission appointed by the Jammu and Kashmir government to probe 17 civilian deaths in the Kashmir Valley, between June 11 to July 19 this year, started its process of inquiry on Thursday.
Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry Tariq Ahmad Banday issued a public notice, seeking information from persons, groups or organisations having any knowledge about incidents which led to the killing of 17 civilians, beginning with the death of 17-year-old Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, after he was allegedly hit by a teargas shell at Rajouri Kadal on June 11.
The notice was issued after modalities for functioning of the two-member commission were finalised by its head Justice (retired) Syed Bashiruddin Ahmad and member Justice (retired) Y P Nargotra during a meeting on Wednesday evening.
The commission was appointed by the state government on July 27 on the recommendations of the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
The terms of reference of the commission include to enquire into circumstances leading to deaths by firing or otherwise into the 17 incidents, fixing responsibility wherever excessive force has been used resulting in fatalities, suggest measures to avert recurrence of such incidents in future, recommend the action to be taken against persons or authorities found responsible in any such incident.
However, the notification warned people against giving any false information as the proceedings before the commission are judicial proceedings. "No statement, deposition or evidence be submitted, which is not true and correct, to avoid attraction of criminal proceedings under Section 193 RPC and Section 228 RPC," said the notification.
The commission will be hearing the evidence in the cases of deaths separately which have taken place in Srinagar, Anantnag and Baramulla districts.
In order to facilitate the appearance of the witnesses, the commission has set up a sub-office each in Baramulla and Anantnag towns, in addition to the main office in Srinagar.