Nearly 24 years after vice-chancellor of Kashmir University Prof Masheer-ulHaq was killed, the Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday claimed to have arrested an accused identified as Hilal Ahmad Sheikh of Naid Doori.
Haq was among the first targeted killings in the beginning of the militancy in 1989-90. The case was being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
According to police, the accused was absconding since April 1990.
“In a significant development, the Srinagar police generated a specific intelligence about Hilal Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ghulam Nabi of Naid Doori, an accused in the murder case,”said a police statement.
The arrest was made from Zabidal area in Srinagar following a tip-off. According to police, the accused was produced before the court of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Srinagar, for further legal disposal.
According to the prosecution, the accused and his accomplice Hilal Beigh, chief of Students Liberation Front (SLF), had abducted Haq and his private secretary on April 6, 1990 to secure the release of jailed militants - Nissar Ahmed Jogi, Ghulam Nabi Bhat and Fiyaz Ahmed Wani.
However, when their demand was not met, they allegedly killed both the hostages. In the challan presented before the court Beigh, Javed Ahmed Shala, Mushtaq Ahmed Sheikh, Mohammad Ashraf Bhat, Aftab, Hilal Ahmed Sheikh, Rafiq Wani and Mohammad Hussain Khan were named as accused.
SLF chief Hilal Beigh died during the course of trial, while proceedings under section 512 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to declare others, including Sheikh, as absconders were initiated. In April 2009, after 19 years of trial, a special TADA court [Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act] acquitted all other accused in two separate cases pertaining to the abduction and subsequent killing of Haq and others, as the CBI failed to prove its case.
T hose acquitted of the charges of abduction and killing included Abdul Aziz Dar, Ghulam Qadir Mir, Shabir Ahmed Bhat, Mohammad Sadiq Rather, Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Saleem Zargar.