Police Indicts Officer, Others in Kashmir Fake Encounter

The police investigations into the killing of three youth in a fake encounter in Kashmir has established criminal conspiracy by an Indian army officer and his men into the incident, prompting the army to order a high level inquiry into the incident.

Sources said the police’s preliminary inquiry has revealed that Indian army officer Major Opender and his team of three entered into a criminal conspiracy with the locals working for army, and kidnapped three youth on the pretext of providing them jobs.

Three youth Shehzad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi hailing from Nadihal, Rafiabad had gone missing on April 28 and their family members had registered a missing report with police. Their bodies were exhumed from a graveyard at Kalaroos close to border with Pakistan on Friday after they were killed in a fake encounter by Indian army on April 30, two days after they went missing.

The police investigations disclose that the army official worked in the intelligence wing of Army in North Kashmir’s Baramulla town had developed contacts with the Territorial Army men, who are mostly renegades and surrendered militants.

Police have filed a case of murder and kidnapping against the 4 Rajput Rifles army unit, which was involved in the fake encounter. “So far four persons including two special police officers and an Indian soldier have been arrested. The arrested persons have alleged that the army officer paid them Rs 50,000 each to get 3 youth who would be killed and labeled as Pakistani infiltrators,” they said.

They said further investigations are going on.

The police handed over the investigation report to a senior Indian army officer in Kashmir on Saturday evening and afterwards army ordered a high level probe.

“Based on the preliminary report received from police, a high level inquiry has been ordered by the Army into the incident,” an Indian army spokesman in Srinagar, Lt Col J S Brar said.

He said the inquiry will investigate all allegation, based on the report submitted by the Police. “We will judiciously expedite the proceedings as promised. The only delay we foresee is the recalling of the witnesses who are involved in the incident, as the unit has de-inducted, after competing its mandated tenure. However, efforts to get them back have already been initiated,” he added.

Meanwhile, for the 4th day in succession, the Nadihal area in North Kashmir observed a complete shutdown and youth staged anti-India demonstrations on Sunday. The protestors were demanding arrest and action against the Indian soldiers involved in the fake encounter.