April 2007 News

Second charge sheet in Kashmir fake encounters

12 April 2007
Indo-Asian News Service

Srinagar: Police Thursday filed a second charge sheet in the infamous Kashmir fake encounter scam before the court of the chief judicial magistrate Srinagar.Seven police officials and five army personnel have been accused of killing Molvi Shoukat Khatana, Imam (priest) of a mosque, resident of Bannihal Jammu in a staged shootout and later passed off as a militant. The charge sheet named former superintendent of police, H.R. Parihar, deputy superintendent of police Bahadur Ram, assistant sub inspector Farooq Ahmad Gudoo, constables Manzoor Malik and Tariq Ahmad Lone, said DIG Farooq Ahmed Khan, who is heading the special investigating team (SIT) probing the five alleged cases of Kashmir fake encounters.He said that Molvi Ashraf and five personnel of the 13th battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles were also listed in the charge sheet and accused of kidnapping and subsequent murder of Khatana. They have been charged under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 364 (kidnapping) and 302 (premeditated, cold- blooded murder) of the criminal procedure code.Cases of murder and abduction were registered against security officials after it was discovered that five Kashmiri youth had been picked up and allegedly killed in a staged encounter in Ganderbal, Kashmir. They were labelled as foreign mercenaries and the accused police officials had claimed reward money for 'killing terrorists'.However, exhumation of the body and DNA tests established that Khatana was killed in a fake encounter and was not a terrorist as DNA samples matched with his relatives.The accused police officials were brought to the court amid tight security Thursday. However, the army personnel weren't produced as they are yet to be handed over to the police.The court later listed the case for the next hearing on May 3 and the army has been asked to decide whether they want the accused personnel to be tried in the civil court or wants to court martial them.


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