The Ganderbal police in Kashmir had allegedly been in the business of fake encounters since February last year, initial police investigations into an alleged case of a fake encounter have revealed.
The police have started the process of exhumation of the body of Abdul Rehman Padder, who was shown killed on December 9 last year as a Pakistani terrorist.
The body is buried in some wooded area in Ganderbal, located at 30 kms from Srinagar, according to investigations. The process to identify the place and the body has begun.
Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kashmir range, Farooq Ahmad, is conducting the investigations.
The police will get Padder's family to identify the body in presence of a lawyer of the Supreme Court.
During investigations it turned out that there were two reports of villagers that have gone missing which were lodged in Kothibagh police station on February 16 and March 3 last year.
"Since the similar allegations have been levelled in two other cases of missing reports, those will be investigated in the similar light," Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, SM Sahai told Hindustan Times over phone.
"All necessary legal procedures would be followed in letter and spirit in these investigations to make the process transparent," he said.
The motive for the fake encounter is being determined. The money also appeared to be a factor, the investigations have found out.
SSP Ganderbal, HR Parihar and his team were awarded Rs 1 lakh for killing a "Pakistani terrorist", who in reality was an innocent villager Abdul Rehmad Padder of Larnoo, Kokkernag of south Kashmir district of Anantnag.
Farooq Ahmad, driver of a tanker with the Ganderbal police, had informed that Abdul Rehman Padder was a Pakistani. He was picked up and neutralised, in what now turns out to be a "fake encounter".
"Neither the terrorist was genuine, nor the encounter," according to initial investigations by the state police into this sordid affair which has brought back memories of Pathribal and other alleged fake encounters.
The Pathribal encounter was staged on March 24, 2000 and the army had claimed that it had killed five terrorists involved in the killing of 35 Sikhs in Chittisinghpora village in Anantnag district on March 20, the day the then US president Bill Clinton arrived in India. CBI has filed a charge sheet against the army officers in the court.
In the case of Abdul Rehman Padder, his family member's mention of the mobile phone that he had had with him, served as a big clue for the police. "We were able to trace each and every detail of the case after we traced the mobile," Sahai said.
"We will follow each and every legal aspect of the case, and it should be clear that the police is unsparing and transparent in such matters in taking action against those allegedly responsible," he said.
The police have already arrested two of its men — ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo and Selection grade Constable Farooq Ahmad Padder and attached SSP Parihar and Deputy Superintendent of Police (operations) Bhadhur Ram.