SC adjourned Katra ‘police barbarism’ petition on ‘NPP leaders’ to July, 2014

Supreme Court Vacation Bench comprising of JJ Mr. B.S. Chauhan and Mr. A.K. Sikri today adjourned the petition of Panthers Party senior leaders namely, Ms. Anita Thakur, H.C. Jalmeria, Advocate and P.K. Ganjoo, Journalist against the barbaric attack against them and several other Panthers Party leaders on 7th August, 2007 who were leading the peaceful procession of Talwara Migrants to seek implementation of Supreme Court judgment dated 13.07.2006 in which Supreme Court had directed the Union of India and the State Govt. to release the relief in cash and kind to all the Jammu Migrants at par with Kashmiri Migrants, till after the Supreme Court vacation in July, 2014.

The Supreme Court had admitted the petition and issued rule in 2008 on the petition filed by the three Panthers Party leaders mentioned above against J&K Govt., DG Police, Divisional Commissioner, Shri Sanjeev Verma, the then District Magistrate, Reasi, S.S. Sambyal, the then SHO Katra, ASI, Sam Gill seeking criminal action against the guilty police officers and for their barbarism which was shown in a video film before the Supreme Court. The petitioners have also sought a relief of Rs.10 each and investigation by a sitting Judge of the High Court.

Several police officers including the DP Police, IG Police, SP Udhampur, DSP Katra, SHO Katra had filed counter affidavits pleading not guilty.

The case has been represented by Shri K. Venugopal, senior most Advocate in the Supreme Court and Prof.Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate and several other advocates.

The petitioner no.1, Ms. Anita Thakur had submitted that it was on 7th August, 2007 when nearly 3000 Jammu Migrants with their families were peacefully marching towards Delhi to seek implementation of Supreme Court judgment. (The case is still with the High Court of J&K seeking contempt proceedings against Union of India and Govt. of J&K for disobeying the order of the Supreme Court). She in her affidavit had started a terror against Panthers Party leaders and peaceful marchers near Katra on the main road.

The moment I entered the police Control Zone I was suddenly attacked by some women Police What happened to me and how I was dragged by the hair, how the Police pounced on me like Wolves, must have been witnessed by millions of the people in this country on almost all the channels except Doordarshan on 10th August, 2007 and subsequent days.

When I realized my conscious, I found that I was being beaten by shoes by one ASI, Mr. Gill. I was dragged by Mr. Gill and SHO Sambyal into the Police Jeep. After driving for couple of minutes Mr. Sambyal kicked me with his shoes out of the Jeep and shouted let her die here. The Police again picked me up and threw into the same vehicle took me to the Police Station of Katra, may be a kilometers away. ASI Gill took me out of the Jeep. He caught me by my hair and dragged as if I were animal to the Police Station. I was taken to a side room where I saw Mr. P.K. Ganjoo. They shifted Mr. Ganjoo. Mr. Gill brought two women constables SHO Sambyal and SP Ashok Sharma opened the door and looked towards me as if they wanted to eat me up. Ashok Sharma told SHO to, “give her relief”. Moment they walked out Mr. Gill attacked me with his fists. When I started shouting, Mr. Gill took me to the side bathroom, put my Chunni in my mouth so that my cries do not go out. Then he started beating me with his shoe. With his first hit he told me this is cash relief, then he gave me second hit on my eyes telling that this is arrears. He kept on thrashing me. My body is witness for that. Then he called the two waiting women constables and asked to open my shirt. I could not resist because both of my hands were held behind my back by other Policemen whom I could never see. Mr. Gill then tour my shirt and inflicted abuses, and used filthy language against me, I can never repeat those words. I was kept standing and Mr. Gill continued beating me with his shoe till I fell down on the floor. He came and bit my thigh with his teeth which have been witnessed by entire media and the press. At that point in order to protect my honour, touched the feet of Mr. Gill not to destroy my honour. Suddenly somebody knocked the door it was a Sikh ASI who asked me accompany him to another Hospital. He was kind.

That I was again thrown into an open Police Jeep and made to sit on tyre hanging on the mudguard of the Jeep. I was driven from Katra to Jammu, a distance of 56 kms. I was dropped in Women Special Cell at Canal Road Jammu which is monitored by an Inspector Lady, Anita. I knew her. I called her but nobody was available. I was dropped in this Women Cell at about 12:00 O’clock midnight between 7th and 8th of August 2007. I was made to sit in the Women Cell without water, food or medical care. I kept on crying the whole night asking for a Doctor. I requested everybody in that Police Station to inform my home or Prof. Bhim Singh who is our leader and also an Advocate, about my detention and heath. The Police never informed anybody about my situation and whereabouts. I spent the whole night in my torn shirt.

In the morning I was given only one cup of tea at 9:00 am. I enquired about my Mobile Phone, my ear rings, and Rs. 11,000 which I had taken from the Party Headquarters for the ration for the Migrants. Everything was missing and the Women Cell Officer told me that she will get everything from the Court. The Police wanted to take me to the Police Hospital, may be to liquidate me. I also came to know that Prof. Bhim Singh had arrived from Delhi and was looking for me. While the Police was preparing to take me to some unknown place, a telephone came at the reception. I was taken to Medical College Hospital at about 2:30 p.m. on 8th August, 2007 (the next day).

Mr. Jalmeria’s leg was broken by the assaulting policemen whereas Ms. Anita was brutally assaulted. Both of them were treated in Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi for a month.

It is shocking that the police has filed a challan after five years of the incident against the petitioners before the Supreme Court and the case is also being tried by the Sessions Judge, Reasi.

Prof.Bhim Singh said that justice has been delayed for seven years whereas the guilty policemen have been given promotion and SHO Katra Mr. S.S. Sambyal was awarded with Presidential Medal for their barbaric and inhuman assault on the Panthers Party workers. He said the Supreme Court shall hear the matter in July, 2014.