Fifteen years after the killing of 19 members of three Muslim families, allegedly by Armymen and some SPOs, at Sailan near Buffliaz, the CBI began investigations into the matter with its official visiting the massacre site.
Local villagers, meanwhile, complained of intimidation by the Army to dissuade them from deposing before the agency.
Identifying the CBI official as Inspector Ashok Kalra, sources said he, accompanied by local policemen, reached Sailan around 3.30 pm and remained there for nearly two hours.
Kalra visited the three houses of the victims, including the one where they were allegedly killed, the sources said.
He had a brief interaction with the family members of the victims and the eyewitnesses. Kalra told them that the CBI will soon be summoning them to Jammu to record their statements.
He also visited the site where SPO Zakir Hussain was killed on the road near Buffliaz by local militant commander Imtiyaz Sheikh and his associates.
The villagers handed Kalra a written complaint alleging intimidation by Armymen belonging to 16 Rashtriya Rifles at Draba camp in Surankote. They claimed that the Armymen visited the village on October 9 and asked villagers, especially eyewitnesses, as to what they would be deposing before the visiting CBI officials.
Khurram Parvez of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society in a statement here alleged that the witnesses were lined up before their houses and that their pictures were taken by the Armymen.
He said that 16 RR has no mandate to interrogate the families and the witnesses of Sailan massacre. Parvez described the Army action as intimidation of witnesses so as to sabotage the process of justice.
The CBI investigation into the massacre case, which had already been closed by the state police twice as a case of killings by unidentified militants, followed directions from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on November 21 last.