Bandipore case: Army left red-faced as Police arrest two

 Jammu and Kashmir Police has arrested two persons over an alleged conspiracy in the killing of a youth at Bandipore in an encounter with the Army which has been left red faced.

Acting swiftly on directions from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Police detained two people immediately after the killing of 26-year-old Hilal Ahmad Dar in Bandipore town on July 24, official sources said today.

The two -- Mohammad Ramzan and Nazir Ahmad -- were placed under arrest last night by the police after a detailed interrogation during which it was found that the former had planned the killing with the Army, the sources said.

The sources said that Ramzan had given old weapons to Hilal and Nazir Ahmed with a bait for being included in Hizbul Mujahideen and asked them to move into jungles for a meeting with top commanders of the militant outfit.

Ramzan, who has been working as a source for the 27 Rashtriya Rifles of the Army operating in the region, was picked up after the cell phone records of the deceased showed his number. The role of Nazir Ahmed also cropped up subsequently.

The sources said the Army top brass has been approached for handing over the men involved in the encounter so that they could be questioned at length.

Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam was personally monitoring the case.
Dar, a resident of Aloosa village, was killed allegedly in army firing last week in Bandipora, triggering protests by locals who claimed that he was an innocent local youth and not a militant.

Army brass in the Valley, who were initially reluctant to even institute an enquiry into the incident till they were overruled by Defence Minister A K Antony, today issued a press release saying "it is fully cooperating with the Police probe."

In the release, Army said it had ordered a thorough probe headed by a Senior Officer to investigate into the incident in which Hilal Ahmad Dar had died.

"Depending on the outcome of the investigations, action will be taken as per the law of the land," it said.

When asked whether Army was willing to hand over the Army officials involved in the encounter, a spokesperson of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Col J S Brar was reluctant to answer any questions saying "I will not go beyond the press release."

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