The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mufti sets up DNA test probe panel

Srinagar, Jan. 16: The Jammu and Kashmir government today formed a Cabinet sub-committee to examine Justice Kuchai Commission’s report on fudging of blood samples of the five victims of Pathribal killed in March 2000 and suggest action against the officials responsible for it.

State chief secretary S.S. Bloeria said deputy chief minister Mangat Ram Sharma would head the sub-committee. Finance minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and minister for food and supplies Taj Mohi-ud-Din are the other members.

The decision to set up the panel was taken by the Cabinet, which met here with chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the chair, Bloeria told reporters.

“After considering the report of the one-man commission submitted to the government recently, the Cabinet today decided to constitute a sub-committee to suggest further action in the matter of fudging of the blood samples of the five victims that were sent … for DNA tests, so that no guilty person escapes the stringent criminal liability,” Bloeria said.

It may be mentioned that the collection of DNA samples from the relatives of the victims had triggered a storm when forensic reports from two laboratories in Hyderabad and Calcutta indicated that the blood samples had been fudged.

Following this, fresh samples were collected and subsequent DNA tests confirmed that the five victims of the carnage were local villagers and not foreign militants as claimed by police. The police had said the five men were responsible for the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chattisinghpora on March 21.

The Justice Kuchai Commission was set up on March 15, 2002, following reports that the blood samples were fudged. The scandal had forced the state government to order the suspension of the Dr Balbir Kaur, head of the department of forensic medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar, her deputy and five others who were assigned the task of sample collection from the relatives of the victims.

They were, however, reinstated by then chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

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