The Principal District and Sessions Court on Wednesday issued bailable warrants to seek presence of witnesses to record their statements in the fake encounter killing of an Imam in 2006.
The witnesses to the killing were scheduled to appear before the court on Wednesday for examination, but didn't appear for unknown reasons.
On Oct 4, 2006, Moulvi Shoukat Ahmad Kataria, Imam of Thatar Masjid at Alamgari Bazar in old Srinagar, was abducted when he was leaving the Masjid for his residence after leading the night prayers. Kataria was abducted by unknown men in uniform and taken to Gandub at Ajas Bandipora in north Kashmir where he was killed mercilessly and passed off as a dreaded militant, Abu Zahid of Karachi Pakistan.
An accused, ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo, arrested in another fake encounter case of Abdur 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 allegedly aided by another Imam, Muhammad Ashraf Khan of Ganderbal, as he wanted to lead prayers in Thatar Masjid and helped the men in uniform in the killing.
After registering a case (FIR 4 of 2007) in Zadibal police station, cops probed the matter and finally submitted chargesheet in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar which committed the case to Principal Sessions Court Srinagar.
The investigation in the case prolonged as the Army did not cooperate with the investigating officer.
On the directions of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, the Chief judicial Magistrate Srinagar finally handed over the chargesheet against the accused soldiers to Army for Court Martial.
The police had charge sheeted 11 persons, including five cops and five army men, for the murder. The accused cops, including the then senior superintendent of police Ganderbal, H R Parihar, were arrested and are facing trial in this case.
Parihar is also facing trail in court for killing of a carpenter, Abdul Rehman Padder of Larnoo Kokernag.