The Jammu and Kashmir Police have closed the investigation into the killing of Tufail Ahmad Mattoo, which had triggered the 2010 summer unrest in Kashmir.
“The investigation into the case has been closed as untraced,” the police’s Special Investigation Team told the High Court. “All the possibility of collecting evidence in this case was explored to reach some evidence. But SIT was not able to find any conclusive evidence.”
Mattoo, a 17-year-old student, was returning home from a tuition centre when he was hit and killed by a teargas shell fired by the police on June 11, 2010. The police had initially claimed that Mattoo was killed by a protester’s stone but later said he was murdered by the people who took him to hospital after he was hit.
This led to a public outcry and protests and the police was forced to order a probe, but it was too late. The protests against Mattoo’s killing had spread across Kashmir and soon grew into the unrest that shut down the Valley for more than five months and led to the death of at least 110 people in police and paramilitary firing over the summer of 2010.
In September 2011, the High Court constituted a SIT to investigate the killing. More than a year later, the SIT has closed the case, though it has assured to continue the “secret” probe.
“This is worth mentioning that the law and order situation in 2010 was very grim and violence erupted at every nook and corner. In the particular incident, the violence erupted at more than one point. Therefore, in such a grim law and order situation, it becomes impossible to contain the situation at one place and multiple points get affected,” the SIT said in its report to the court. “However, the secret search will continue. If anything comes to the knowledge, the investigation shall be reopened.”
The closure report was filed after the court pulled up SIT for not concluding the probe quickly and asked it to file its report by November 30.
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