‘If you kill A, you cannot brand him as B’

High Court Reserves Judgment After Hearing Final Arguments

JANGLAT MANDI ENCOUNTER CASE

D A RASHID

Srinagar, Nov 7: The J&K High Court Wednesday reserved judgment on a petition seeking directions for reinvestigation into Janglat Mandi “fake” encounter case allegedly involving Army Chief Bikram Singh.
 A bench of Justice Hasnain Massodi reserved the judgment after hearing the arguments of the counsels representing the parties.
 Zaituna, a resident of Kalaroos in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, had filed the petition before the High Court last year through her counsel ZA Qureshi seeking reinvestigation of the case on the plea that the alleged militant who was killed in the encounter was her son Abdullah Bhat who was not involved in militancy.
 The petitioner has also sought directions to the police to identify the grave where the body of the “foreign militant” that forces claimed to have killed is lying so that DNA test of the body could be conducted to ascertain its lineage.
 Counsels representing the Union of India however argued that the encounter was not fake, saying that the sole aim of the petitioners is to “malign the forces.”
 They said the petitioners have not approached any law enforcing authority to get investigation done for 10 years. They argued that Lt Gen Singh, who was then a Brigadier commanding the 1-Sector Rashtriya Rifles in south Kashmir, was returning to Anantnag after visiting various army units.
 “When the army convoy stopped at Janglat Mandi, a militant disguised as a beggar and opened indiscriminate fire upon the army men, which triggered an encounter,” they argued.
 While Colonel JP Janu and Rifleman Ganesh Kumar were killed, Gen Singh and another officer were injured in the attack. The assailant and two civilians were also killed in the incident.
 Counsel for the petitioner argued before the court that the contention of the respondents that the case cannot be reopened after 10 years is “out of sync with the provisions of law as time bar cannot deprive the family of right of reopening the case.” He referred to various SC judgments in support of his contention.
 Qureshi argued that police and the state are projecting the case in a different way by giving it the twist that the encounter was not fake.
 “But our contention with regard to the fake encounter is clear: if you kill A, you cannot brand him as B,” he argued.
 He told the court if the respondents are sincere they should come before the court with a photograph of the deceased militant and ask her mother if the photograph displayed is that of her son.
 The Union of India was represented by JS Johal with Karnail Singh Wazir.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 7 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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