Recovery of grenade: Cover-up or lapse?
ASI In Dock
UMER MAQBOOL DAR
Srinagar, Oct 19: The recovery of a grenade from the clothes of an elderly civilian who was killed allegedly by troopers in North Kashmir district of Kupwara has sparked new controversy with the family of the deceased accusing forces of placing the grenade in his pocket to brand him as a militant. Police say it was a lapse.
After the body of 65-year old Muhammad Mukthar Sheikh of Thokerpora Langate was handed to his family Monday afternoon, the locals were shocked to find a grenade in his clothes, which was later handed over to police.
The Army handed the body to police post Zachaldara at 12:15 am yesterday saying that he was killed in a gunfight between militant and troops in Yamlar forests of Rajwar. Sources told Greater Kashmir that an FIR number 229/10 under Section 307 RPC and 7/27 Arms Act lodged by Army unit in police station Handwara did not mention recovery of any weapon from his possession.
They said only two identity cards including election card and dry fruits were recovered from his possession.
The police is looking into the matter from various angles, including whether grenade was placed in his pocket in police custody to label him a militant or was it genuinely a lapse on their and Army’s part.
“We are looking into every aspect and can not rule out anything. This time the Army officials who handed over the body and the police officer who received the body are under scanner,” a police official, wishing anonymity, said.
The family of the deceased has accused army of killing him in a fake encounter.
“They killed him after kidnapping him. They wanted to implicate him by placing the grenade in his pocket,” his son Parvaiz Ahmed told Greater Kashmir.
When contacted, Superintendent of Police, Handwara, Rafiq Ahmad Vakil told Greater Kashmir that police has initiated departmental inquiry against an ASI, who received the body from the Army unit, for laxity.
“The deceased civilian who was accompanying the militants was killed in gunfight in Rajwar forests after troopers laid ambush in the area. The militants had given him 2-3 coats for wearing and presumably his body was not searched thoroughly. It is lapse on part of concerned police officer and officer who handed over the body without searching clothes,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Oct 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Oct 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Oct 2010 00:00:00 IST
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