[Reader-list] Cold blooded murder of 3 civilians for Rs 6 Lakh

Kshmendra Kaul kshmendra2005 at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 2 16:06:41 IST 2010

If the Govt of India has any reasonable understanding of the situation in Kashmir, they will use this latest report on murder of three civilians by the Army, to give exemplary punishment to the guilty.
Whatever might have been the reasons/excuses (morale etc) for GOI not punishing the guilty in such cases of murder in the past, now is the opportune time to establish that while little else can be expected from Criminals other than criminal acts but it is totally unacceptable for the State to indulge in criminal activity or shield criminals from punishment. 
If the State acts in a manner, other than punishing the guilty (members of institutions of the State) then the State will justifiably be seen as being complicit in such criminal acts.

--- On Fri, 5/28/10, S. Jabbar <sonia.jabbar at gmail.com> wrote:

From: S. Jabbar <sonia.jabbar at gmail.com>
Subject: [Reader-list] Cold blooded murder of 3 civilians for Rs 6 Lakh
To: "Sarai" <reader-list at sarai.net>
Date: Friday, May 28, 2010, 12:00 PM

Cold blooded murder of 3 civilians for Rs 6 Lakh

Machhil fake encounter snowballing into a storm for Omar Abdullah Govt

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz

SRINAGAR, May 27: Government agencies have found that a 4-Rajput unit of
regular Army has committed cold-blooded murder of three civilians of
Baramulla district near Sonapindi in Machhil sector of Kupwara district for
claiming reward money of Rs 6 Lakhs during the night intervening April 29th
and 30th this year. Much like the infamous fake encounters of yesteryears,
these gruesome killings have been put in the account of an ³encounter² and
all the three slain civilians have been labeled as ³infiltrating militants²
before their burial at a graveyard at Kalaroos in Kupwara district.

According to highly placed authoritative sources, a gruesome replay of
Pathribal and Ganderbal fake encounters has occurred at Sonapindi, close to
LoC in Machhil sector, where a unit of 4-Rajput has gunned down three
civilians of Rafiabad area of Baramulla district, labeled them all as
³infiltrating militants² and claimed to have recovered from them five AK-47
rifles during the night intervening April 29th and 30th. Army has claimed to
have killed the three ³unidentified militants² in a fierce encounter at
Tanakpur Post, near Sonapindi, on the LoC.

Army had later handed over three dead bodies to Police Post Kalaroos. These
were further handed over to the residents who buried the bodies in the local
graveyard but only after Police took their photographs. Sources revealed to
Early Times today that all the three youth have been found to be the
residents of Rafiabad area of Baramulla district. Residents have identified
one of them with the photographs available with DIG North Kashmir and SP
Sopore. According to these sources, Police Station Panzla, Rafiabad, has
tracked the movement of one of the three missing civilians with the help of
his mobile phone signals which have shown him present in Kalaroos area of
Kupwara district on April 27th and 28th.

According to these sources, Army had requested Police Post Kalaroos to
record it as a ³joint operation² but the men on duty got suspicious over
recovery of five AK-47 rifles from just three ³unidentified militants² and
recorded it as an operation exclusively conducted by Army. It has been
observed that the three civilians have been led to Sonapindi area for
working as ³porters² for the Army and killed only for claiming cash reward
of Rs 6 Lakhs. Government has been paying cash reward of Rs 2 Lakh for
killing of each militant to Police or armed forces involved in the

Sources said that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has taken ³extremely serious
notice² of what could be the first major fake encounter during his
17-month-old coalition government and has all the potential of snowballing
into a catastrophe---more so on the eve of the visits of the UPA
Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, and Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. Chief
Minister, according to sources, has immediately taken a meeting with
Director General of J&K Police, Kuldeep Khoda, and directed him to collect
all details and submit a detailed report within a day. Sources said that
Chief Minister, who also happens to be the Chairman of Unified Headquarters,
was likely to complain the matter to the top central authorities, including
Mrs Gandhi, Prime Minister and the union Defence Minister.

While there was no response to phone calls from the office of Army¹s
spokesman at headquarters 15 Corps, incharge Superintendent of Police,
Kupwara, Mohammad Yousuf Mir, insisted that he had not received any
complaint in this matter till date. He said that Police had completed all
formalities, including taking pictures of the dead bodies, before conducting
the burial at Kalaroos with the help of residents. He, however, confirmed
that in the afternoon today he had posted armed guard of 9 Police personnel
on the graveyard in which the bodies had been buried in April. Asked why, he
said it was ³a precautionary measure².

Police sources in Baramulla said that three youth of Rafiabad area, namely
Riyaz Ahmed Lone S/o Mohammad Yousuf Lone, Shehzad Ahmed Khan S/o Ghulam
Mohammad Khan and Mohammad Shafi Lone S/o Abdul Rashid Lone, were missing
since April 27th and a missing report had been filed by their family members
with Police Station Panzla. They said that an investigation was underway
during which Police learned from some sources that a local
counter-insurgent, namely Bashir Ahmed, had taken these youth to Kupwara in
a Tata Sumo. They said Police were investigating whether same youth had been
killed in a ³fake encounter² after the signals of one of their mobile phones
indicated the location of Kalaroos.

Residents of the Rafiabad village today put up a demonstration and blocked
vehicular traffic for several hours with the demand that the dead bodies
buried at Kalaroos be exhumed and the photographs be provided to them for
identification. Authorities pacified the crowds with the assurance that the
matter would be investigated. Reports available from Baramulla said that
relatives of the missing youth would be submitting a formal application to
District Magistrate of Baramulla on Friday to seek orders for exhumation of
the dead bodies buried at Kalaroos.

While the most infamous of the fake encounters, including killing of five
civilians of Anantnag district at Pathribal Panchalthan in the aftermath of
the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisingpura on March 20 in 2000, had happened
in Dr Farooq Abdullah¹s National Conference regime in 1996-2002 and also
previously during Governor¹s and President¹s rule, four more civilians of
Anantnag district and a resident of Banihal had been killed by SOG Ganderbal
in a series of fake encounters during Ghulam Nabi Azad-led coalition
government in 2006.

CBI has completed the investigation into the Pathribal fake encounter and
filed challan against senior officials of Rashtriya Rifles 07 Bn, including
a Brigadier. Police have completed the investigation into the Ganderbal fake
encounters. A number of SOG Ganderbal personnel, including then SP
Ganderbal, Hans Raj Parihar, have been continuously in jail since 2006.
However, investigation has been inconclusive in the matter of Army having
killed five porters of Jammu---all of them Hindus---in another fake
encounter in Kalaroos area of Kupwara district in 2002.

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