Shopian fake encounter: Army completes key inquiry step against two of its personnel
The army has completed the Summary of Evidence against two of its men involved in July’s Shopian fake encounter in which three civilians were killed and a possible court martial could take place after completion of formalities, officials familiar with the matter said.
Confirming the development, Army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said “The Summary of Evidence is being examined by the authorities in consultation with legal advisers for proceeding further. The Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. ”
The army had ordered a Court of Inquiry earlier this year after reports appeared on social media that three youths, labelled as terrorists, had been gunned down by its personnel.
The Court of Inquiry, which completed its probe earlier in September, had found “prima facie” evidence that troops had “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa) during the July 18 encounter in which three men were killed. Following this, the army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
Officials in know of the development said the two army personnel may face court martial proceedings for violating the powers vested under the Afspa and not following the Dos and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court.
They also said the role of the three civilians as well as the person who had allegedly led the army to the men needs to be thoroughly examined by the police. The three civilians killed in Amshipura were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar, hailing from Rajouri district. Their identities were subsequently confirmed through a DNA test. The bodies were handed over to their families in October.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had met the families of the three men and assured them the UT government will ensure that justice is done in the case.
(With PTI inputs)