Other Encounters Also Under Scanner, Says Omar5 June 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Following the uproar caused by the Macchil fake encounter case, J-K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said that the J-K Police were investigating other encounters whose veracity was in question. “As a result of the Macchil encounter, people have raised questions about several other encounters,” Abdullah told The Sunday Express. “We are seriously looking at all the complaints and the police are investigating every encounter that has been questioned”. The Chief Minister however, said that the police investigations have not revealed any other fake encounter so far. “As of today, the police investigations haven’t pointed towards any new fake encounter,” he said. “The few police has probed were found to be genuine. But the police are looking at several of them and the investigations are on”. A senior police officer privy to these investigations, meanwhile, told The Sunday Express that they suspected the veracity of at least three encounters along the LoC in different sectors in Kupwara district. “We are seriously checking the encounters at Tangdhar and Keran where the Army has claimed to have killed two infiltrating militants each earlier this year,” the officer said. “We are also probing another encounter at Macchil (on the LoC) that took place in November last year. The same unit (4 Rajput) was involved in the operation in which they had claimed to have killed two militants”. Though the police has taken pictures of every “militant” body that the Army has handed over to them after each of these encounters along the LoC, it is hesitant to publish them in local newspapers. “It will create panic among the public. So we are trying to first ascertain the facts and if need be, we will publicise these pictures to ensure that the speculation about the veracity of all these encounters is put to rest,” the officer said. “We are also co-operating with people who are approaching the police stations (in frontier Kupwara) to take a look at these pictures”. J-K Police sources said that they are also looking at the previous postings of Major Upinder, Col Pathania and other officers of the 4 Rajput -the unit involved in recent Macchil fake encounter. “The police are investigating their previous posting to ascertain the veracity of any other encounter that these officers were involved in,” sources said. Major Upinder had been posted as G2 at 19 Division Headquarters at Baramulla before he was shifted to 4 Rajput at Kalaroos in Kupwara. Meanwhile, protests erupted over the alleged picture of the Al Aqsa mosque - the third holiest Muslim mosque - on an undergarment. The picture, however, turned out to be that of a cathedral. Police sources said that this was a premeditated attempt to create a disturbance ahead of the Prime Minister’s Srinagar visit. “We have inputs that vested interests don’t want Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit Srinagar at this particular time,” a senior police officer said.