The Jammu and Kashmir Police has filed a charge sheet against three people, including an Army officer, in the Shopian alleged fake encounter killings of three civilians in July this year, officials said on Sunday.
The 1,400-page charge sheet, which was filed in the court of Principal District and Sessions judge Shopian on Saturday by the head of the Special Investigation Team, primarily names three chief individuals in the fake encounter "conspiracy" that targetted civilians.
Captain Bhupinder of 62 Rashtriya Rifles of the Indian Army, Bilal Ahmad and Tabish Ahmad were named as accused in the charge sheet for their role in the alleged fake encounter killings of the youths hailing from Rajouri district.
A possible court-martial could take place after completion of formalities, the Army officials said.
Son of local BJP candidate named in charge sheet
Tabish Ahmad, who was named as accused in the fake encounter case, is actually notorious in the local books, according to reports.
Nazir Ahmad Malik, Tabish's father, had recently contested the just-concluded Urban Local Bodies elections in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, The Quint reported. Nazir had, however, ended up losing to an independent candidate in the polls.
Moreover, Tabish's name also appears in a police case over liquor bootlegging, the in Shopian Police's records, the report added.
Chilling details of fake encounter in charge sheet
At the same time, several spine-chilling details, regarding the fake encounter case, hinting at pre-planned murder, have emerged.
The charge sheet goes on to elaborate how during vestigation, it came to light that a conspiracy was hatched by the accused captain and civilians Nazir and Lone to abduct the three civilians and stage the encounter.
"They deliberately and purposefully chose not to follow SOPs, planted illegally-acquired weapons and material on their bodies after stripping them of their identities and tagged them as hardcore terrorists in possession of war-like stores, deliberately providing false information to colleagues and seniors," a police spokesperson said.
The information obtained from the accused led the SIT to recreate the scenes of the crime, including the routes used after meeting the victims and the place where they were killed.
The three slain civilians were identified as Abrar Ahmad, 25, Mohammad Ibrar, 16 and Imtiyaz Ahmad, 20.
Their bodies were later exhumed and handed over to their families for the final rites.
After relatives of the three slain labourers belonging to Rajouri district of Jammu division raised a hue and cry, police conducted DNA profiling of the three families and it was established that the killed persons were locals.
It had been claimed by those who carried out the encounter that the three were foreign terrorists from whose possession arms and ammunition was recovered.
'Exceeded powers vested under AFSPA'
The Army has now accepted that the three involved persons had exceeded their powers which were vested in them under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
During further investigation, all the circumstantial evidence, which includes two vehicles and the service rifle of Captain Singh of the 62 RR, were seized.
Lone has become an approver under the relevant section of law and his statement has been recorded before the chief judicial magistrate, Shopian. The statements of 49 witnesses were also recorded.
The Army on Friday said it has completed the Summary of Evidence against two of its men involved in July's Amshipura encounter in Shopian district, in which the three civilians were killed.
The Army had ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) earlier this year after reports appeared on social media that the three men, labelled as terrorists, were gunned down by its personnel.
The CoI, which completed its probe in September, found "prima facie" evidence that the troops had "exceeded" the powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the July 18 encounter. Following this, the Army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
Officials in the know of the development said the two Army personnel may face court martial proceedings for violating the powers vested under the AFSPA, 1990 and not following the "dos and don'ts" of the Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court.
(With inputs from agencies)