2002 Abduction And Disappearance Case | Court awards 10 years rigorous imprisonment to former govt gunman

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A local court here on Friday convicted a man in case of “abduction and disappearance” of a person and awarded him rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and fine of Rs 50,000

The court of 1st additional session judge Baramulla, Naseer Ahmad Dar, while convicting the former government gunmen held that the investigation agency has failed to produce supplementary chargesheet against the army officer who appears to be the main accused in the case.

The court said the fine shall be paid to the complainant and in case the convict failed to pay the fine, he will have to further undergo three months simple imprisonment.

As per the case history, the complainant on 22 June 2002 had lodged a complaint in police station Sopore that her son, Manzoor Ahmad Wani, a resident of Tragpora Rafiabad was picked up by an army officer of 28 RR who was accompanied by two government-gunmen, Abdul Qayoom Tantray of Rohama in Rafiabad and Ghulam Ahmad Malik alias Jahangir of Buden in Sopore.

Despite repeatedly approaching the army camp for whereabouts of her son, the complainant was not provided any information. Following the complaint, a case (FIR No 126/2002) was registered in the police station Sopore.

The accused, as per the case history, was arrested after four years and investigation agencies had recovered a pistol and some rounds from his possession.

According to the case history, Malik alias Jahangir was killed by unknown gunmen in April 2003. “During the investigation of the case, the concerned army officer was not handed over to the investigation agency for questioning despite their repeated approach to the higher authority of the army.”

The SHO concerned while presenting the challan had assured that after obtaining sanction from the government, a supplementary challan will be submitted against the army officer in the court.

While recording statements of around 30 prosecution witnesses, name of another accused, Gulzar Ahmad Bhat alias Setha had surfaced and accordingly his offence under section 348,109 RPC was established, as per the case history. The charges were framed against the accused on 14 November 2006.

After hearing both the parties, the court held Tantray guiltily for the offence under section 364 RPC while as Bhat was acquitted in the case.

The court held that the “army officer appears to be main accused in the case, however, neither the prosecution nor the investigation officer have been able to produce supplementary charge sheet against him before the court nor they have obtained the requisite sanction for his prosecution.”