Police Officer and Soldier Arrested for Staging Fake Encounter in Kashmir

Srinagar, Aug 8: In yet major embarrassment to the Indian security agencies in Kashmir, an investigation into yesterday’s encounter in the mountainous Poonch region of Kashmir in which a Lashkar militant was killed has found that the encounter was a fake and a Hindu civilian was killed under a conspiracy by a policeman and soldier.

Yesterday the Army claimed to have killed a Pakistani militant and divisional commander of Lashker-e-Taiba, Abu Usman after a 12-hour long gunbattle at the Surankote area of Poonch and claimed recovery of arms and ammunition from him.

However, the probe by police and army has found that the deceased was a mentally challenged Hindu civilian.

A top army official G S Shergil told the media that the civilian was picked up by policeman and army man from Rajouri and taken to the Mehrote forest. “They killed the civilian in the forest on August 4 and informed the Army about suspicious movement on August 6. The duo had hatched this conspiracy to get a promotion”.

He said the army man was identified as Abdul Majid son of Mohammad Bashir of Darha Sangla deployed with 156 batallion and policeman was identified as Noor Hussain.

He said the duo killed the civilian on Dhoba Wali road near Mehrote forest and kept the pistol near his body in the forest. “On the information of the policeman and soldier, police and army cordoned off the area and launched the operation. There was retaliation from other side,” he said.

A senior police officer said a case has been registered against the duo under section 302 (Murder charges) for conspiring to murder a civilian and misleading forces and police.

He said the duo conspired and managed the encounter for personal benefits.

“SPO Hussain hatched the conspiracy with the aim of his appointment as constable in police force as reward for killing a top militant. He took into confidence solder Abdul Majeed who became his partner in the conspiracy to get monetary benefit from the Army, he said.

SSP said the duo picked up an unidentified mentally challenged civilian from Rajouri on August 5 and took him to Dobawali Doka forests in Surankote where they shot him dead the next day.

“Later, they informed the forces that a top LeT militant was killed. A revolver and a diary, which the duo had themselves authored, was dropped by them at the spot of the encounter,” he said.

He said when locals raised doubts about the deceased being a ‘militant’ and maintained that he was a civilian, police launched an investigation and cracked the conspiracy hatched by the duo.

He ruled out the involvement of any other person in the encounter.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.