Ishfaq-ul-Hassan | India Tomorrow
SRINAGAR—Captain Bhoopendra Singh of Army’s 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), who was using the pseudonym of Major Basheer Khan, has emerged as prime accused in the killing of three labourers in a fake encounter at Amshipora in the Shopian district.
Chilling details have emerged in the cold-blooded murder of three labourers branded as militants and killed in a fake encounter at Amshipora in Shopian district on July 18 this year.
The investigation has revealed that the accused Army Captain and his two aides planted “illegally acquired weapons and material” on the bodies of the three laborers to pass them off as hardcore militants.
“During the investigation, it transpired that conspiracy has been hatched by accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh alias Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, Tabish Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmed Malik of Chowgam, and Bilal Ahmed Lone, son of Ghulam Nabi Lone of Arabal Nikas Pulwama to abduct and stage the encounter. They deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow standard operating procedures (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,” police said in a statement on Sunday.
Abrar Ahmad Khan, 17, son of Bagga Khan, his relative Abrar Ahmad, 25, son of Mohammad Yusuf, and Imtiyaz Ahmad, 20, son of Sabir Hussain, all residents of Peeri, Kotranka in Rajouri district, disappeared after they left home on July 16 to work as daily-wage laborers in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Over three weeks later, the families of the trio were shocked to see the purported picture of three alleged militants killed in an encounter at Amshipora village in the Shopian district on July 18.
The bodies bore a stark resemblance to two of the missing laborers – the teenage Abrar and the older Abrar. A third body in the picture is placed facedown with clothes pulled up over his head. Bullet marks can be seen on the back of the third body.
It was subsequently established through a DNA test that the three laborers were indeed the civilians killed after being dubbed as militants in Amshipora, Shopian.
Slain Abrar Ahmad belonged to the family of army soldiers who fought wars against Pakistan. Abrar Ahmad’s uncle Madad Hussain retired as an honorary captain from the army. His second brother Muhammad Bashir, who retired as Havildar from 12 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), fought the Kargil war in 1999. Honorary captain Madad Hussain’s son Subedar Zakir Hussain is currently serving in the army.
“As per SOPs Army informed the police for registration of FIR. During the investigation of the 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 alias Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, Tabish Nazir, and Bilal Ahmed Lone was established and therefore incorporated in the instant case,” the police statement on Sunday added.
On Saturday, police filed a 1400-page chargesheet against the accused trio before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shopian.
“Accordingly, an order has been issued by Hon’ble Court asking the Army Authorities under relevant sections of the law to give their opinion whether the accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh alias Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR be tried by the Criminal Court of ordinary jurisdiction or by the Court Martial,” police said.