Army Colonel , 2 Majors chargesheeted in Machil fake encounter case

Army Colonel , 2 Majors chargesheeted in Machil fake encounter case

The charegsheet has named Col D K Pathania, Maj Maurya, Major Upinder, Subedar Satbir, Hawaldar Bir Singh, Sepoys Chandra Bhan, Nagendra Singh and Narendra Singh and Abbas Hussain Shah of the Territorial Army (TA) besides two civilians Basharat Lone and Abdul Hamid Bhat.

The chargesheet was filed on Thursday before a designated court in Sopore which issued summons to the Army officials to be present on the next date of hearing of the case on July 29.

All of them were charged under sections 302 (murder), 364(abduction), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intent) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) for allegedly conspiring and kidnapping three youths from Sopore on the pretext of giving them jobs and later killing them in the higher reaches of Kupwara claiming they were terrorists.
The Army was sent three reminders by the police for handing over the custody of the army officials for their custodial interrogation as they claimed there was enough evidence to suggest their involvement in the killing of Muhammad Shafi, Shehzad Ahmed and Riyaz Ahmed who were gunned down on the night of April 29.

The Colonel was relieved of the command and Major Upinder suspended ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the Valley on June seven.

Army officials had attempted to invoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act under which no official is to be handed over to the civilian administration. However, the state government argued in its chargesheet that since there was criminal intent, police could act against them.

The police have recorded the statements of various people, including the driver of the vehicle in which the three youths were taken from their native village of Nadihal in Baramulla district before being allegedly gunned down.

The police had arrested three persons Abbas Shah --the territorial army jawan, Basharat Lone and Abdul Hamid Bhat -- for allegedly luring the three youths to the border and staging a fake encounter in Machil sector of north Kashmir.

The bodies were exhumed and a post-mortem was done by the state government. The police had registered a missing report on April 27 in this regard, which was later converted into a kidnapping case.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had asked the Commander of 15 Corps Lt Gen N C Marwah to cooperate in the probe being carried out by the police.

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