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NC worker’s death: Bedi report exonerates Omar
Ishfaq Tantry
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 22
A panel probing the death of a National Conference worker at Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's residence here last year submitted its final report to the Jammu and Kashmir Government today. It ruled that Syed Mohammad Yousuf died of a heart attack and exonerated Omar.

The Justice (retired) HS Bedi Commission of Inquiry’s (CoI) 96-page report exonerated the Chief Minister and attributed Yousuf’s death to a “cardiac arrest”. A magisterial probe has already exonerated the CM in the case, stating that Yousuf died a natural death and not because of any assault by personnel in the Chief Minister's camp office or by the police.

The one-man commission submitted its report to state Law Secretary GH Tantray today morning, 13 months after it was set up by the state government on November 18, 2011, to inquire into Yousuf’s mysterious death.

“On a cumulative assessment of the evidence on record, it must be found that the death of Haji Syed Mohammad Yousuf was caused by myocardial infarction which (as doctors says) would mean a ‘heart attack’ and that no suspicious circumstances can be spelt out,” the commission observed.

Yousuf had died in police custody in the Police Hospital at Srinagar on September 30, 2011, a day after the Chief Minister handed him over to Crime Branch officials.

The Commission said Yousuf was taken into custody from the CM’s camp office after registration of an FIR. “I am, therefore, of the opinion that the deceased had been, in fact, arrested on September 29, 2011, from the ‘CM’s CO (camp office)’ by IGP Raja Ajaz Ali and in any event after the registration of FIR no. 17/2011 at 10 pm,” the report said.

The Commission observed that the deceased was properly treated in the hospital. “The evidence also reveals that the deceased had received proper treatment while in hospital and Dr Kuchay had done his duty as per the needs of the patient. No lapse, therefore, can be attributed to either Raja Aijaz Ali (then IGP Crime) or Dr Kuchay (who treated Yousuf) in the discharge of their duties,” the report said.

However, the report has held some lower rank police officials “liable of having failed to discharge their duty as per law” for not informing family of the deceased in time about Yousuf’s arrest/detention. They had alleged that they were not informed by the police about Yousuf’s detention and arrest till his death.

Justice Bedi told The Tribune that it was now up to the government to act on the report. “I submitted the report at 10 am today. My job was to submit the report. Now I leave it to the government,” he said. J-K Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar said the Justice Bedi report had attributed Yousuf’s death to “cardiac arrest”. “The report has been submitted. As conveyed to me, Justice Bedi has attributed Yousuf’s death of to cardiac arrest, saying there is no suspicion related to his demise,” Sagar said. He, however, added that he had not gone through the full report.

“First, we will study it and then make our (Law Ministry’s) report on the basis of the findings and recommendations of the report and forward it,” he added.

Case Recall

  • Justice (retd) HS BediOmar AbdullahSept 29, 2011: CM Omar Abdullah summons NC worker Syed Mohammad Yousuf to his official residence after two party workers claim he took money and promised one of them a legislator’s post and the other a ministerial berth
  • CM hands over Yousuf to the crime branch of the police
  • Sept 30: Yousuf dies in police custody; kin allege he was tortured
  • Nov 18: State appoints Justice HS Bedi Commission to probe Yousuf’s death; gives it six months
  • Dec 22, 2012: Panel submits report in 13 months after seven extensions; exonerates Omar.





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