Police Warn J&K Leaders With Penal Action For Criticising Encounter Probe

Police Warn J&K Leaders With Penal Action For Criticising Encounter Probe

The families of the civilians killed have been protesting against the police.

Srinagar:

The Jammu and Kashmir Police today warned action against political leaders criticising probe by a Special Investigation Team ( SIT) into the last month’s controversial encounter at Srinagar’s Hyderpora.

Yesterday, the special probe team gave a clean chit to the security forces as it underlined that two civilians, a doctor and a businessman – killed during the Hyderpora encounter – were either used as human shields by terrorists or killed by them.

All major political parties and families of the civilians who were killed have rejected the probe, calling it a “cover-up” by the police. 

The police took strong exception to the statements made by political leaders including Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone.

“SIT’s clear chit to armed forces in Hyderpora encounter isn’t surprising. It was purely a charade to cover up a botched up operation & absolve those culpable for killing innocent civilians. How can one expect justice when they themselves are judge, jury & executioner? (sic)” Ms Mufti wrote in her tweet. 

“The SIT came across several posts on media from some political leaders and family members wherein they have cast doubts upon evidence obtained by the SIT so far. They have tried to call it ‘concocted cover-up story’, ‘ornamental probe’, ‘clean chit to killers’ and ‘fairy tale of police’,” read a statement by the SIT.

“Such speculative statements from political leaders have a tendency to create a provocation, rumor, fear and alarm among the general masses or particular section of society. This kind of approach is against rule of law and may attract appropriate penal provisions as envisioned under law.”

The SIT has said that based on its investigation, it was established that Dr Musadir Gul was killed by terrorists and businessman Altaf Bhat was taken hostage by terrorists during the Hydepora encounter on November 15.

At the same time, the SIT accused Dr Mudasir Gul of harboring terrorists and businessman Altaf Bhat of concealing information about the terrorist presence in a commercial complex he owned.

According to the police, four persons – including a foreign terrorist – were killed during the encounter on November 15 that triggered a massive outrage. The families allege that three civilians were killed in a staged encounter and were used as a human shield by the security forces.

The police said the third local – Amir Margay – who was working at Dr Mudasir’s office, was a close associate of the Pakistani terrorist shot dead.

The SIT is headed by Sujit Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police Srinagar. 

Mr Kumar denied that he led the Hyderpora encounter and there was a conflict of interest by heading the SIT probe into a controversial encounter.

”Perhaps foreign terrorist received instructions from outside that Dr Musadir may have been behind the encounter. On this suspicion, he killed Dr Mudasir Gul in the attic of the building” said Mr Kumar.

“After killing Dr Mudasir, they used the building owner Altaf Bhat as human shield while trying to flee. In the ensuing firing, Altaf Bhat was hit by a bullet. His body was found at the terrace with Amir Margay” said SIT chief.

Mr Kumar said that Altaf Bhat and Dr Mudasir volunteered to help search the building when security forces launched the operation. But both didn’t tell them that the terrorist was hiding inside.

“We asked Altaf sahib if he was sure that no one is inside. He and Dr Mudsir said no one is inside the building. Altaf asked Dr Mudasir to come and let’s show the security forces that no one is inside the building. He appeared confident. He didn’t even ask for a bulletproof jacket after volunteering to search the building,” said Sujit Kumar.

On the death of third civilian, Amir Margay, the SIT chief said he was a close associate of the Pakistani terrorist and “his activities showed that Amir was a terrorist”. 

The SIT chief admitted that Amir was initially let go after searches and didn’t escape even after he left the building and waited at waited in a nearby hospital. 

After half an hour, Mr Kumar said, they called Amir back and asked him to search rooms and find if anyone is hiding in the building. “He feigned ignorance and said no one is inside. Amir was exposed after he was seen with Pakistan terrorists inside. He also fired,” added Mr Kumar.

Noting additional details on Amir’s activities that he believed were pertinent, the SIT chief said that in the last year, “Amir was frequently visiting Bandipora district and had also started smoking.”

Quoting teachers of a seminary in Bandipore, the SIT chief said Amir’s behavior had also changed and he was not punctual in Namaz (prayers offered five times a day by Muslims).

Amir’s family, however, has rejected police claims that he was a terrorist. He was the son of an anti-terrorist crusader from the Ramban district, about 150 km.

Mr Kumar said the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF were also part of the Hyderpora encounter and it was the Army unit that provided input about the presence of terrorists. 

This is for the first time when the Army was part of an encounter in Srinagar city. So far, only Police and CRPF have been carrying out anti-terrorist operations in city areas.

Police also defended releasing findings of SIT probe when a magisterial probe ordered by the government has not been made public. “It will not influence the probe by the additional district magistrate. The magisterial probe is completed and the report has been sent to the judicial magistrate as mandated under law” said Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police.

The SIT, Mr Kumar said, they have collected technical, forensic evidence, and recorded statements of over 20 protected witnesses about the encounter and involvement and complicity of people killed in the encounter.
https://twitter.com/sajadlone/status/1476106519066267648?s=21

“The SIT came across several posts on media from some political leaders and family members wherein they have cast doubts upon evidence obtained by the SIT so far. They have tried to call it ‘concocted cover-up story’, ‘ornamental probe’, ‘clean chit to killers’ and ‘fairy tale of police’,” read a statement by the SIT.

“Such speculative statements from political leaders have a tendency to create a provocation, rumor, fear and alarm among the general masses or particular section of society. This kind of approach is against rule of law and may attract appropriate penal provisions as envisioned under law.”

The SIT has said that based on its investigation, it was established that Dr Musadir Gul was killed by terrorists and businessman Altaf Bhat was taken hostage by terrorists during the Hydepora encounter on November 15.

At the same time, the SIT accused Dr Mudasir Gul of harboring terrorists and businessman Altaf Bhat of concealing information about the terrorist presence in a commercial complex he owned.

According to the police, four persons – including a foreign terrorist – were killed during the encounter on November 15 that triggered a massive outrage. The families allege that three civilians were killed in a staged encounter and were used as a human shield by the security forces.

The police said the third local – Amir Margay – who was working at Dr Mudasir’s office, was a close associate of the Pakistani terrorist shot dead.

The SIT is headed by Sujit Kumar, Deputy Inspector General of Police Srinagar. 

Mr Kumar denied that he led the Hyderpora encounter and there was a conflict of interest by heading the SIT probe into a controversial encounter.

”Perhaps foreign terrorist received instructions from outside that Dr Musadir may have been behind the encounter. On this suspicion, he killed Dr Mudasir Gul in the attic of the building” said Mr Kumar.

“After killing Dr Mudasir, they used the building owner Altaf Bhat as human shield while trying to flee. In the ensuing firing, Altaf Bhat was hit by a bullet. His body was found at the terrace with Amir Margay” said SIT chief.

Mr Kumar said that Altaf Bhat and Dr Mudasir volunteered to help search the building when security forces launched the operation. But both didn’t tell them that the terrorist was hiding inside.

“We asked Altaf sahib if he was sure that no one is inside. He and Dr Mudsir said no one is inside the building. Altaf asked Dr Mudasir to come and let’s show the security forces that no one is inside the building. He appeared confident. He didn’t even ask for a bulletproof jacket after volunteering to search the building,” said Sujit Kumar.

On the death of third civilian, Amir Margay, the SIT chief said he was a close associate of the Pakistani terrorist and “his activities showed that Amir was a terrorist”. 

The SIT chief admitted that Amir was initially let go after searches and didn’t escape even after he left the building and waited at waited in a nearby hospital. 

After half an hour, Mr Kumar said, they called Amir back and asked him to search rooms and find if anyone is hiding in the building. “He feigned ignorance and said no one is inside. Amir was exposed after he was seen with Pakistan terrorists inside. He also fired,” added Mr Kumar.

Noting additional details on Amir’s activities that he believed were pertinent, the SIT chief said that in the last year, “Amir was frequently visiting Bandipora district and had also started smoking.”

Quoting teachers of a seminary in Bandipore, the SIT chief said Amir’s behavior had also changed and he was not punctual in Namaz (prayers offered five times a day by Muslims).

Amir’s family, however, has rejected police claims that he was a terrorist. He was the son of an anti-terrorist crusader from the Ramban district, about 150 km.

Mr Kumar said the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF were also part of the Hyderpora encounter and it was the Army unit that provided input about the presence of terrorists. 

This is for the first time when the Army was part of an encounter in Srinagar city. So far, only Police and CRPF have been carrying out anti-terrorist operations in city areas.

Police also defended releasing findings of SIT probe when a magisterial probe ordered by the government has not been made public. “It will not influence the probe by the additional district magistrate. The magisterial probe is completed and the report has been sent to the judicial magistrate as mandated under law” said Vijay Kumar, Inspector General of Police.

The SIT, Mr Kumar said, they have collected technical, forensic evidence, and recorded statements of over 20 protected witnesses about the encounter and involvement and complicity of people killed in the encounter.

Assam Press