Police probe reveals Army captain, two locals abducted civilians, staged Shopian gunfight, planted weapons

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Srinagar: Police produced the challan in court against the army in Amshipora fake gunfight case, revealing that an army captain of 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) along with two south Kashmir locals abducted three Rajouri youth, staged a gunfight, and planted illegally acquired weapons on their bodies. 

On Sunday, the police issued a statement, detailing that on 18 July 2020, information was received by Police Station Heerpora that “three unidentified militants were killed in an operation at village Amshipora by 62 Rashtriya Rifle (RR) and two pistols with two magazines and four empty Pistol cartridges, fifteen Live cartridges and fifteen empty cartridges of AK series weapon and other objectionable items were recovered from the encounter site”.

The police claimed, “They deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow Standard Operating Procedures (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.”

Consequent upon the information, as per the statement, a case First information Report (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.

According to the statement, during the course of the investigation, “all the efforts were made to establish the identity of the killed persons but all in vain. A signal was flashed to all the police stations of Jammu and Kashmir as well as to all the police stations of the country to ascertain the identity of the victims. On 10 August 2020, a signal was received from I/C PP Peeri, District Rajouri mentioning therein that three youth namely Abrar Ahmad son of Bagga Khan resident of Dharsakri,  Imtiyaz Ahmad son of Sabir Hussain resident of Dharsakri, and Abrar Ahmad son of Mohd Yousuf resident of Tarkassi, Tehsil Kotranka had gone to Kashmir to work as labor on 16 July 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 the missing reports have been entered in PP Peeri, Rajouri”.

“On receipt of this information, a Police Party from Shopian was deputed for the collection of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) samples from the claimant families. Accordingly, DNA samples of claimant families were taken through the team of doctors constituted by the District Magistrate Rajouri. DNA samples of Claimant families along with DNA samples of the dead bodies were sent to Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Chandigarh for analysis and comparison. Samples were identified as the same as three missing youths of the District Rajouri,” the statement noted.

The statement further stated that keeping in view the nature and sensitivity of the case, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) 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 resident of Chowgam and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama were summoned at Police Station Heerpora for questioning and were arrested in the instant case. Whereas, Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Maj Basheer Khan of 62RR was detained by the Army under relevant sections of the law,” the police said in the statement. 

The statement added: “During the investigation, it transpired that conspiracy has been hatched by accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR, Tabish Nazir son of Nazir Ahmed Malik resident of Chowgam, and Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama to abduct and staged the encounter.”

“As per SOPs, the army informed the police for the 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 offenses 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,” the police mentioned in the statement.

According to the statement, during the course of the investigation, the disclosure of accused persons led the Special Investigation Teams (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 evidence which includes two vehicles, service rifles of Captain Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR etcetera were seized. Accused Bilal Ahmed Lone son of Ghulam Nabi Lone resident of Arabal Nikas Pulwama has become approver under relevant Section of law and his statement has been recorded Before Hon’ble Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Shopian.” 

“On 26 December 2020, charge Sheet of instant case running in 1400 pages against accused: Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR and Tabish Nazir son of Nazir Ahmed Malik resident of Chowgam, for a commission of offenses u/s 302,364,201,436,120B,182 IPC r/w 7/25 IA Act was presented before Hon’ble Chief Judicial Magistrate Shopian for judicial determination,” police said in a statement.

The statement further read: “Accordingly, an order has been issued by Hon’ble Court asking the Army Authorities under relevant sections of the law to give their opinion whether the accused Captain Bhoopendra Singh @ Major Basheer Khan of 62 RR be tried by the Criminal Court of ordinary jurisdiction or by the Court Martial.” 

Police claimed in the statement that during the investigation, “the statement of forty-nine witnesses was recorded under relevant sections of law and a total of seventy-five witnesses were listed under the list of witnesses annexed with the challan”. (GNS)

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