Army officer among 3 named in police charge-sheet
Precious Kashmir News
Srinagar, Dec 27: Police Sunday said the three civilians from Rajouri, who were killed in July 18 fake encounter in Shopian, were innocent as the encounter was staged by an Army officer and two other persons.
A police spokesperson said Captain Bhoopendra Singh alias Major Basheer Khan of 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone — abducted the civilians and staged the encounter.
“They planted illegally acquired weapons and material on their dead bodies after stripping them of their identities and tagged them as hardcore militants in possession of war-like stores and deliberately providing false information to colleagues and seniors,” he said.
Giving details, he said on July 18, 2020, information was received by Police Station Heerpora that three unidentified militants were killed in an operation at village Amshipora by 62 RR. “Two pistols with two magazines and four empty Pistol cartridges, 15 Live cartridges and 15 empty cartridges of AK series and other objectionable items were recovered from the encounter site,” he said.
He said consequent upon the information, a case FIR No 42/2020 U/S 307 IPC, 7/27 Arms Act, 16 ULA (P) Act was registered in Police Station Heerpora and investigation was set into motion. “During the course of investigation, all the efforts were made to establish the identity of the slain persons but all in vain,” he said, adding a signal was flashed to all the police stations of Jammu Kashmir as well as to all the police stations of the country to ascertain the identity of the victims.
“On August 10, 2020, a signal was received from Incharge Police Station Peeri, District Rajouri mentioning therein that three youth – identified as Abrar Ahmad, Imtiyaz Ahmad and Abrar Ahmad — had gone to Kashmir to work as labour on July 16, 2020 but since then their whereabouts are not known to the family nor they reported back to their respective homes,” he said.
He said further it was informed, that missing reports have been entered in Police Station Peeri, Rajouri. “On receipt of this information, a Police Party from Shopian was deputed for collection of DNA samples from the claimant families. Accordingly, DNA samples of claimant families were taken through team of Doctors Constituted by District Magistrate Rajouri. DNA samples of claimant families along with DNA samples of the dead bodies were sent to CFSL, Chandigarh for analysis and comparison. Which were identifies as same as 3 missing youths of the District Rajouri,” he said.
He said keeping in view the nature and sensitivity of the case, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Headquarters, Shopian was constituted.
“On receipt of this DNA report, two persons, identified as Tabish Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmed Malik, resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone, son of Ghulam Nabi Lone, resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama were summoned at Police Station Heerpora for questioning and were arrested in the instant case,” he said.
He said whereas Captain Bhoopendra Singh was detained by Army under relevant sections of law.
“During investigation, it transpired that conspiracy was hatched by the accused Captain, Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone to abduct and staged the fake encounter. “They deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow SOPs, they planted illegally acquired weapons and material on their dead bodies after stripping them of their identities and tagged them as hardcore terrorists in possession of war-like stores and deliberately providing false information to colleagues/senior,” he said.
He said as per SOPs Army informed the police for registration of FIR. “During investigation of theFIR, sections 307 IPC, 7/27 Arms Act, 16 ULA(P) Act against the slain youth were dropped. “The offences under section 302, 364, 201, 436, 120-B, 182 IPC and section 7/25 IA Act against accused the Captain, Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone was established and therefore incorporated in the instant case,” he said.
He said the disclosure of accused persons led the SIT to recreate all the scenes of crime which included routes used after meeting the victims and the place where the victims were murdered. “During further investigation, all the circumstantial evidences which included two vehicles, service rifle of Captain Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR etc were seized,” he said.
He said the accused Bilal Ahmed Lone has become approver under relevant Section of law and his statement has been recorded before Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Shopian.
He said accordingly, on Saturday chargesheet of instant case running in 1400 pages against accused was presented before Chief Judicial Magistrate Shopian for judicial determination.
“An order has been issued by the Court asking the Army Authorities under relevant sections of law to give their opinion whether the accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh be tried by the Criminal Court of ordinary jurisdiction or by the Court Martial,” he said.
He said statement of 49 witnesses was recorded under relevant sections of law and a total of 75 witnesses were listed under the list of witness annexed with the challan.