The charge sheet filed by police in connection with Shopian Fake Encounter that happened in July last year has revealed that the Indian Army Captain, who was found involved, had hatched a conspiracy to “grab” reward money of Rs 20 lakh, PTI reported.
The accused also fired at the victims even before his men could lay a cordon of the area, the charge sheet adds.
The case relates to the July 18, 2020, fake encounter at Amshipora Shopian in which three youths of Rajouri district — Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar- were killed and branded as militants.
Captain Bhoopinder Singh, who was found involved in the staged gunfight, is currently in the custody of the Army and may face Court Martial proceedings.
The charge sheet submitted before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Shopian also details the role of the two civilians — Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone — in the case.
Lone has since turned an approver and recorded his confession statement before a magistrate.
After reports emerged on social media that the three youths were not militants but young labourers who had arrived in Shopian in search of work, the Army had ordered a Court of Inquiry which completed its probe earlier in September. It had found “prima facie” evidence that the troops had “exceeded” the powers granted under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Following this, the Army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
The identities of the three youths killed in Amshipora were confirmed through a DNA test and the bodies were handed over to their families in Baramulla in October.
General officer in Command of the 15 Corps, Lieutenant General B S Raju, had earlier said the Summary of Evidence had been completed and the Army will take the next course of action as per law.
The Captain may face a Court Martial proceeding for violating the powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 and for not following the dos and don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court.
The charge sheet submitted by the Special Investigation Team of Jammu and Kashmir Police has listed 75 witnesses in support of its findings and has also provided technical evidence including call data records of the accused persons involved in the case.
The charge sheet also has the statements of four army personnel — Subedar Garu Ram, Lance Naik Ravi Kumar, Sepoys Ashwini Kumar and Yougesh — who were part of Captain Singh’s team at the time of the incident.
The charge sheet reveals that they have said that all of them along with the two civilians had left the Army camp together as there were reliable inputs that a contact with militants was possible.
On reaching the spot, all the four were asked to cordon off from different directions. “…as they were approaching the spot on foot after disembarking from the vehicle they heard a few bursts of live ammunition even before they had laid the cordon,” said the charge sheet, quoting the statements of the four.
Later Captain Singh told them that he had to fire as the hiding militants were trying to escape.
“By staging the encounter,” the charge sheet said, Captain Singh and two other civilians also “purposefully destroyed evidence of real crime that they have committed and also have been purposefully projecting false information as part of a criminal conspiracy hatched between them with motive to grab prize money of Rs 20 lakh”.
It said the accused captain of 62 Rashtriya Rifles “furnished false information to mislead the senior officer and for getting” an FIR lodged to “tailor fit his motive for grabbing prize money in furtherance of criminal conspiracy”. PTI