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J&K Parties Welcome Life Sentence for Captain in Fake Encounter

Captain Bhoopendra Singh and two others were accused of killing three labourers in a fake encounter in Amshipora village, in the Shopian district, in July 2020.

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) political parties have welcomed an Army court’s decision to sentence a Captain to lifefor murderingthree labourers and branding them as terroristsduring a fake encounter in Amshipora village,in south Kashmir’s Shopian district in 2020. 

The parties urged the administration to investigate other controversial encounters in the last few yearsfor justice and accountability. 

JKNC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar termed the Army court’s order “a first step towards justice” for the victims’ families and a ray of hope for families of other such victims. 

“This is a first step towards justice for victim families. This decision has also created a lot of optimism among family members of those who have lost their loved ones under suspicious circumstances. Most recent among such cases are the Amshipora, Hyderpora, Kunan cases,” he tweeted.

“Recommended punishment of life imprisonment for Captain involved in  Amshipora fake encounter is a welcome step towards creating accountability in such cases.Hope an impartial probe is also ordered in Lawapora & Hyderpora encounters to prevent repetition of such ghastly incidents,” PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.  

CPI (M) Central Committee member and former MLA MY Tarigami also praised the court’s verdict and said that similar “credible” probes are important to rebuild trust with the people. 

“Appreciable to recommend  life imprisonment for an Army officer involved in the killing of  three innocent labourers. To contain the recurrence of such unfortunate incidents, security forces must operate within the ambit of  law,” he tweeted.

“Credible investigations in similar occurrences are quintessential to rebuild the trust of people in crucial institutions,” he added.

The court sentenced Captain Bhoopendra Singh of the 62 Rashtriya Rifles, earlier based in Shopian, to life. On July 18, 2020, the Army claimed to have killed three militants in an encounter. However, thefamilies of Imtiyaz Ahmed (25), Abrar Ahmad (20) and Ibrar Ahmad (17) alleged that they were labourers and branded as militants following which an investigation was launched. 

Subsequently, J&K political parties had called for a probe into the incident. Captain Singh and Tabish Nazir Malik of Shopian and Bilal Ahmed Lone of Pulwama were accused of staging the encounter.

Similar probes into other incidents were demanded after other families accused the security forces of killing civilians and passing them off as militants, including the incidents in Lawaypora and Hyderpora.

Recently, in Kupwara district’s Kunan, a youth’s body was found three months after his family accused the Army of being involved in his ‘enforced disappearance’.


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