Shopian Fake Encounter: Court Asks Army If It Wants To Try Accused In Court Martial

SRINAGAR:  The Jammu and Kashmir police have filed a chargesheet against three people, including an Army officer, in the fake encounter in Shopian district of south Kashmir.

A collage of the photographs of three Rajouri labourers who were killed in a fake encounter in Shopian in summer of 2020.

A police spokesman in a statement said that on July 18, 2020, an information was received by Police Station Heerpora that three unidentified militants were killed in an operation at village Amshipora by 62RR and 02 pistols with 02 magazines and 04 empty Pistol cartridges, 15 Live cartridges and 15 empty cartridges of AK series Weapon and other objectionable items were recovered from the encounter site.

He said that consequent upon the information, a case FIR No. 42/2020 U/S 307 IPC, 7/27 Arms Act, 16 ULA(P) Act was registered in P/S Heerpora and investigation was set into motion.

“During the course of the investigation, all the efforts were made to establish the identity of the slain persons but all in vain. A signal was flashed to all the police stations of the Jammu Kashmir UT as well as to all the police stations of the country to ascertain the identity of the victims,” said the police spokesman.

Delivering Justice

“On  August 10, 2020, a signal was received from I/C PP Peeri, District Rajouri mentioning therein that three youth namely Abrar Ahmad son of Bagga Khan a resident of Dharsakri, Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Sabir Hussain a resident of Dharsakri and Abrar Ahmad son of Mohammad Yousuf resident of Tarkassi, Tehsil Kotranka had gone to Kashmir to work as labour on 16.07.2020 but since then their whereabouts are not known to the family nor they reported back to their respective homes. Further, it was informed, that missing reports have been entered in PP Peeri, Rajouri,” he said.

“On receipt of this information, a Police Party from Shopian was deputed for collection of DNA samples from the claimant families. Accordingly, DNA samples of claimant families were taken through team of Doctors Constituted by District Magistrate Rajouri. DNA samples of Claimant families along with DNA samples of the dead bodies were sent to CFSL, Chandigarh for analysis and comparison. Which were identifies as same as 3 missing youths of the District Rajouri,” he added.

“Keeping in view the nature and sensitivity of the case, a Special Investigation Team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Headquarters Shopian was constituted,” said a police spokesman in a statement.

“On receipt of this DNA report, two persons namely Tabish Nazir son of Nazir Ahmed Malik a resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone a resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama were summoned at Police Station Heerpora for questioning and were arrested in the instant case. Whereas Capt. Bhoopendra Singh @ Maj Basheer Khan of 62RR was detained by Army under relevant sections of the law,” he said.

The spokesman during investigation it transpired that conspiracy has been hatched by accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, Tabish Nazir son of Nazir Ahmed Malik a resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone a resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama to abduct and staged the encounter.

“They deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow SOPs, they planted illegally acquired weapons and material on their dead bodies after stripping them of their identities and tagged them as hardcore terrorists in possession of war-like stores and deliberately providing false information to colleagues/senior. As per SOPs Army informed the police for registration of FIR. During the investigation of above said FIR, sections 307 IPC, 7/27 Arms Act, 16 ULA(P) Act against the slain youth were dropped and the offences under section 302, 364, 201, 436, 120-B, 182 IPC and section 7/25 IA Act against accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, accused Tabish Nazir sobn of Nazir Ahmed Malik a resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone a resident Arabal Nikas Pulwama was established and therefore incorporated in the instant case,” he said.

“During the course of the investigation, on the disclosure of accused persons led the SIT to recreate all the scenes of crime which includes routes used after meeting the victims and the place where the victims were murdered. During further investigation all the circumstantial evidence which includes two Vehicles, service rifle of Captain Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR etc. were seized,” he added.

“During the investigation, accused Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone a resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama has become approver under relevant Section of law and his statement has been recorded Before Hon’ble Court of CJM, Shopian,” said a police spokesman in a statement, adding that “Accordingly, on 26-12-2020 Charge Sheet of instant case running in 1400 pages against accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR and Tabish Nazir S/O Nazir Ahmed Malik R/O Chowgam, for the commission of offences u/s 302,364,201,436,120B,182 IPC r/w 7/25 IA Act was presented before  Chief Judicial Magistrate Shopian for judicial determination.”

The Amshipora ‘Encounter’

“Accordingly, an order has been issued by Court asking the Army Authorities under relevant sections of the law to give their opinion whether the accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR be tried by the Criminal Court of ordinary jurisdiction or by the Court Martial,” he said.

“During the investigation, statement of 49 witnesses was recorded under relevant sections of law and a total of 75 witnesses were listed under the list of witness annexed with the challan,” said a police spokesman in a statement.

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