Srinagar, Oct 9: The Principal Sessions court here on Wednesday framed charges against six accused including a former SP for killing an Imam of a local Masjid here in 2006.
Court of Principal Sessions Judge Srinagar, Muhammad Shafi Khan charged then SP Ganderbal, Hans Raj Parihar, DySP Bhadur Ram, ASI Farooq Gadoo incharge SOG camp, Constable Tariq Ahmad Lone, Constable Manzoor Ahmad Malik, and a Moulvi Muhammad Ashraf of Ganderbal under criminal sections of joint conspiracy, abduction and murder of Rambir Panel Code.
After it framed charges against the accused the court directed the prosecution to lead evidence in support of its case.
On Oct 4, 2006 Moulvi Shoukat Ahmad Kataria, Imam of Thatar Masjid at Alamgari Bazar in old city here was abducted when he was leaving the Masjid for his residence after leading Isha prayers.
But Kataria was abducted by unknown men in uniform and taken to a mountain Gandub at Ajas Bandipora in north Kashmir where he was killed mercilessly and passed as a dreaded militant, Abu Zahid of Karachi Pakistan.
Though it remained veiled for a long as to who was killed in the encounter, an accused ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo who was arrested in Fake encounter case of Abdul Rehman Padroo later revealed during interrogation that no Abu Zahid of Karachi was killed at Gundab saying it was Moulvi Shoukat Ahmad Kataria of Banihal, who was killed in a fake encounter.
Conspiracy to eliminate Kataria was hatched by another Imam Muhammad Ashraf Khan of Ganderbal as he wanted to lead prayers in Thatar Masjid and used the men in uniform to clear vacancy for him.
Police after registering a case( FIR 4 of 2007) in Zadibal Police station probed the matter and finally submitted chargesheet in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, who committed the case to Principal Sessions Court Srinagar.
The investigation in the case prolonged as the Army did not cooperate with the investigating officer for a long. On the directions of Jammu and Kashmir High Court the, the Chief judicial Magistrate Srinagar finally handed over the chargesheet against the accused Army men to their court for court Martial.
The state was represented by the Public Prosecutor, A A Teli.