Chilling details of the alleged fake encounter in Shopian earlier this year have emerged after the Jammu and Kashmir police filed a chargesheet against three persons, including an Army officer.
On July 18, three labourers from Rajouri district of Jammu — Abrar Ahmed (25), Imtiyaz Ahmed (20) and Mohammed Ibrar (16) — were killed in Amshipora of Shopian in an “encounter”. The civilians were labelled as “hardcore terrorists”.
The chargesheet was filed in the court of principal district and sessions judge, Shopian, on Saturday (December 26) by the head of the special investigation team, the officials said.
Captain Bhoopendra Singh, alias Major Basheer Khan, of 62 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army, Bilal Ahmad and Tabish Ahmad were named as accused in the chargesheet for their role in the alleged fake encounter, they said.
According to the chargesheet, the Army captain and his two accomplices abducted the trio in a car from Chowgam and killed them. They later “planted illegally acquired weapons and material on the dead bodies”. The captain allegedly shot the three persons who had come from Rajouri to Shopian in search of work.
“… white colour private car (Maruti Suzuki A Star) bearing registration no DL8CU 0649, prior arranged by the accused Captain Bhoopendra along with incriminating material loaded in it, to Chowgam Shopian, from where they abducted three persons from their rented accommodation in a residential house using the same car and in it transported them to the scene of occurrence at Amshipora while also traveling a distance on foot,” the chargesheet said, according to India Today.
“During interrogation of the arrested accused (Tabish and Bilal), they disclosed the whole story of the day of the incident,” the chargesheet said. The duo was in touch with Captain Singh since June. The police said Bilal had turned approver in the case.
Last week, the Army said it has completed the “summary of evidence” against two of its men. “The ‘summary of evidence’ is being examined by the authorities concerned in consultation with legal advisors for proceeding further. The Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. Further details will be shared in a manner so as not to prejudice the proceedings under Army Law,” the Army said.
A possible court martial could take place after completion of formalities, Army officials said.
The Army had ordered a Court of Inquiry earlier this year after reports appeared on social media that the three youths had been gunned down by its personnel.
The Court of Inquiry, which completed its probe earlier in September, had found “prima facie” evidence that troops had “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the July 18 encounter. Following this, the Army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
Officials in know of the development said the two army personnel may face court martial proceedings for violating the powers vested under the AFSPA, 1990, and not following the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court.
(With inputs from PTI)