Srinagar: Days after the army completed the Summary of Evidence in Shopian Fake Encounter of July 18, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday filed a charge sheet in court against three persons including an army captain.
Police said the investigation revealed that the conspiracy was hatched by Captain Bhoopendra Singh alias Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, and two locals to abduct and stage the fake encounter.
The accused trio deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), planted illegally acquired weapons and material on the dead bodies after stripping them of their identities and tagged them as hardcore militants in possession of war-like stores and deliberately providing false information to colleagues/seniors, the police said.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the police 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 62 RR and 2 pistols with 2 magazines and 4 empty Pistol cartridges, 15 live cartridges & 15 empty cartridges of AK series weapon and other objectionable items were recovered from the encounter site.
“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 Police Station Heerpora and investigation was set into motion,” the statement reads.
During 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 and Kashmir as well as to all the police stations in India to ascertain the identity of the victims.
“On August 10, 2020, a signal was received from Incharge Police Post Peeri in Rajouri district 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 Mohd Yousuf, a resident of Tarkassi, Tehsil Kotranka, had gone to Kashmir to work as labourers on July 16, 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 Police Post Peeri in Rajouri,” the statement reads.
Police said it deputed a party from Shopian for collection of DNA samples from the claimant families. Accordingly, DNA samples of claimant families were taken through a team of Doctors constituted by District Magistrate Rajouri. The samples of claimant families along with DNA samples of the dead bodies were sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Chandigarh for analysis and comparison which were identified as same as three missing youths of the district Rajouri.
The statement further stated that keeping in view the nature and sensitivity of the case, a Special Investigation Team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Headquarters Shopian was constituted.
“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 Captain Bhoopendra Singh @Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR was detained by Army under relevant sections of law,” the statement reads.
During the investigation it transpired that the conspiracy has been hatched by accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh alias 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 militants in possession of war-like stores and deliberately providing false information to colleagues/senior,” the statement reads.
“As per SOPs, the 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 son of Nazir Ahmed Malik resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama was established and therefore incorporated in the instant case.”
During the investigation, the disclosure of accused persons led the Special Investigation Team (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 evidences which include two vehicles, service rifle of Captain Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR etc. were seized.”
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 Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Shopian.
On December 26, a 1400-page charge sheet was filed in the court and Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR and Tabish Nazir, son of Nazir Ahmed Malik, a resident of Chowgam, for the commission of offences under sections 302, 364, 201, 436, 120B, 182 IPC r/w 7/25 IA Act, were presented before CJM Shopian for judicial determination.
Accordingly, an order has been issued by the court asking the Army authorities to give their opinion whether the accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR be tried by the Criminal Court of ordinary jurisdiction or by the Court Martial.
“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,” reads the statement.