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Friday, July 1, 2022

Indian army Vs Kashmir police over Shopian ‘fake encounter’

Refuting the chargesheet filed by the local police in Indian-administered Kashmir, the Indian army on Monday claimed that there was no system of cash rewards for its troopers for any acts in combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty.

The police chargesheet had noted, citing evidence, that an army captain, who is facing the charges of a fake encounter in Shopain’s Amshipora in July last year, was ‘driven’ by a Rs 20-lakh reward for killing three youth from Rajouri.  

In brief statement released by Srinagar-based military spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia, the Indian army claimed: that the reports of cash reward are ‘not based on facts of the processes internal to Indian Army’.

Three youths, who were dubbed as pro-freedom insurgents, were killed in the alleged fake encounter in July last year and the government forces had claimed that they recovered arms from them.

However, the Special Investigation Team constituted by Kashmir police to probe the incident stated in its charge sheet that “by staging the encounter” the accused Capt. Bhoopinder Singh and two other civilians – Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone – also ‘purposefully destroyed evidence of the real crime that they have committed and also have been purposefully projecting false information as part of a criminal conspiracy hatched between them with the motive to grab prize money of Rs 20 lakh’.

The army had ordered a Court of Inquiry into the incident but verdicts and punishments of such courts are never made public.

Army troopers can’t be tried in civilian courts in Kashmir due to implementation of a special Indian law which grants them impunity. 

The charge sheet was filed by the police before Chief Judicial Magistrate Shopian on December 26, 2020.

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