Bomai Fake Encounter: Centre Yet To Accord Prosecution Sanction

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‘JCO Found Guilty Earlier Not Named In Challan’

SRINAGAR (KNS) – Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah’s much-hyped intervention to bring the accused in 2009 Bomai fake encounter to book notwithstanding, the victims’ families still await justice, if the response to a query made under the Right to Information Act about the case were to be believed. 

According to the reply received by advocate Shafqat Nazir in response to his RTI plea, the government of India has not accorded the required sanction to prosecute the culprits. And, surprisingly, the name of the accused junior commissioned officer, allegedly found guilty, along with three other troopers, by the official inquiry into the case, does not figure in the challan.

In his query, the RTI activist had sought a copy of the inquiry report filed by the deputy commissioner, Baramulla, and a response to his query whether the government had taken any action in the matter after receiving the inquiry report.

The written reply to the query reveals that the victims were civilians who had been killed by the army in a fake encounter. “Army had alleged that it (army) had been informed by the local police and local army camp about the presence of militants in the area. However, according to the reply, the local army camp and police had refuted the claim saying they had not informed the army about militant presence in the area.

The RTI activists had also sought information on the present status of the FIR in the case registered in Police Station, Sopore, on February 21, 2009.  The reply to the query by the authorities is silent about it. 

It his third query, the RTI activist had sought information on whether the state government had sought sanction to prosecute the accused. In reply, he has been told the 

police had produced the challan before the court. However, sanction to prosecute the accused has not been received so far from the competent authority.

Interestingly, the reply reveals the manes of accused as sepoy Kamlesh Singh (No 2500917), sepoy Amar Singh (No 15417801), sepoy Preetam Singh (No 2496336) and sepoy Harvinder Singh (No 2493579) of army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles. “The case file has been submitted to the government for accord of sanction,” the reply reads.

The JCO, who allegedly headed the team involved in the fake encounter, has not been named in the challan.

The reply reveals that 37 witnesses had recorded their statements but the army was taking the shield of AFSPA to evade the proceedings.” Army is not only using AFSPA as shield against proceedings in civil court but also opposing the setting up of inquiry committee claiming shield under the AFSPA.”

Pertinently, Bomai fake encounter had taken place on 21 February 2009, months after Omar Abdullah took over as the chief minister. He had ordered an inquiry. Two civilian, Muhammad Amin Tantray and Javed Ahmad Dar, were killed in the fake encounter while the injured one after going through 10 surgeries is surviving. 

Later, the army had indicted three soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), for lapses during the operation in which two civilians were killed. The chief minister had hailed the army for conducting an inquiry into the killings in a “transparent” manner.

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