Plea for reinvestigation of 1997 killings of 3 school teachers in Ramban
Jammu, Jul 23: A petition was filed at a court in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, seeking re-investigation into the killings of school principal Ashok Kumar Raina and two teachers in Gool area of Ramban district in 1997.
The plea, which was filed by Raina’s son Vikas through lawyer Utsav Bains in the court of district and sessions judge Udhampur, also sought directions to authorities to probe the role of Bitta Karate and former state education minister Abdul Qayoom.
Raina was principal of Gool Higher Secondary School when he along with two teachers — Sushil Kumar Bhat and Ravinder Kabu — were allegedly killed by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants in 1997 for educational reforms in Ramban district.
The three were dragged out of a bus and shot dead at point blank range by the Billu Gujjar faction of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
Vikas said his father was forcibly posted in that area despite repeated requests to then education minister Abdul Qayoom that Gool was a highly militant-infested area and safe sanctuary of foreign mercenaries and he should not be sent there due to threat to his life.
“Qayoom forced him to join, even as he had served most difficult places like Kargil in Ladakh for over five years. After serving these difficult places, officials are usually posted in peaceful areas close to home, but he was posted there,” Vikas said.
“My father was the youngest principal and would have risen to the post of director of school education in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said, adding that the role of Qayoom should also be probed.
The family was forced to leave their home in Sopore area of north Kashmir along with many other Kashmiri Pandit families during the mass exodus in 1990.
In the criminal complaint filed at the Udhampur court it has been stated that the police never fairly investigated into the murder of Raina due to political pressure.