BSF officer’s arrest likely
TARIQ ALI MIR/SAMAN LATEEF
Srinagar, Feb 19: The Special Investigating Team (SIT) of Police probing the killing of 16-year old Nishat boy, Zahid Farooq, is likely to arrest the paramilitary BSF Commandant of 68-batllaion, R K Birdi, in the next 48 hours, sources told Greater Kashmir on Friday.
“The SIT has informed the BSF headquarters not to allow Birdi to leave Kashmir Valley and to keep him stationed in Srinagar,” they said.
“Police have collected enough evidence against the commandant for his alleged involvement in Zahid’s killing. Top police and BSF officials have been informed about Birdi’s involvement. The formalities for his arrest are being finalized,” sources said, adding, “Many witnesses have deposed before the police and their statements have been recorded. Police have also sealed the CCTV footage from the CRPF headquarters at Brein, post mortem report, FSL report of troopers weapons, and their confessional statements.”
“The investigations have revealed that Commandant Birdi is directly involved in Zahid’s killing. He forced the arrested trooper, Lakhvinder Kumar, to open fire and remain tight-lipped over the issue,” sources added.
They said that investigations in the case and the formalities required to present the challan in the court have been completed.
Meanwhile, two more BSF troopers deposed before a court on Friday here and declared that the Commandant R K Birdi ordered constable Lakhvinder Kumar to open fire on teenager Zahid Farooq in Brein Nishat on February 5. Constables Ram Singh and Dananjay Goyari under the relevant 164-A CrPC provision deposed before the court: “On February 5, the patrolling squad along with three vehicles was coming from Gogoland to Nishat. We disembarked near the CRPF headquarters in Nishat along with commandant to remove the barricades. After removing these barricades, around ten children standing on the roadside started pelting stones.”
The constables deposed that they (children) jeered them. “They were calling us Bihari, Bihari… following which the Commandant accompanied by constable Lakhvinder yelled on the squad several times to fire upon the children. The commandant in white attire snatched the AK-47 rifle from Lakhvinder and threatened the children. Commandant then returned the rifle to Lakhvinder during which two bullets were shot,” they said.
After bullets were shot, Ram Singh said, he saw Lakhvinder removing his magazine from his rifle. “I did not see any boy being shot at nor did I see any boy falling down.”
Ram said that after the shoot out they left. He said being the squad commander he was supposed to take report of the weapons on return.
“While taking the report, Lakhvinder told me that he was short of two bullets in his rifle,” Ram Singh told court. “I reported the same to Commandant Birdi, who ordered me to communicate to other sleuths to deny the missing of bullets and firing in Nishat to other officials and media.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Friday extended the police remand of prime accused Lakhvinder Kumar for five days.
The CJM directed the police to present the accused before the court on February 24.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Feb 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Feb 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Feb 2010 00:00:00 IST
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