The Indian Army wants to question three civilians named as co-accused and arrested for their involvement in an alleged staged shootout in a Jammu and Kashmir village in which three people labelled as militants were killed, an official said on Thursday.
This, the official said, was to facilitate the court martial proceedings against suspended Major Upinder Singh of 4 Rajputana Rifles who police say lured the three Kashmiris - all in their 20s - promising them jobs and later gunning them down April 30.
The accused major claimed his unit had killed three Pakistani infiltrators in the shootout to claim cash rewards.
Police have arrested three civilians Bashir Ahmad Lone, Abbas Hussain Shah and Abdul Hamid who conspired with the accused major and helped him get in touch with the slain men belonging to a north Kashmir village, Nadihal, near the Line of Control - the de facto border with Pakistan.
Presiding officer of the court martial Brigadier GS Sangha on Wednesday filed an application before the chief judicial magistrate north Kashmir Sopore seeking the presence of the co conspirators.
A police officer said the army could seek the presence of the three arrested to record their statements, "but they cannot keep them in custody".