2 Army Officers Guilty In City Youth’s Disappearance

HC Seeks Report On Obtaining Prosecution Sanction

SRINAGAR – Police have held an army major and a commandant guilty in the custodial disappearance of a youth of Tengpora, Batamaloo (Srinagar) 15 years ago. In its report filed in the High Court on Wednesday, it identified the two accused officers as Major Vishwajeet Singh and Commandant S K Malik of army’s 20 Grenadiers stationed at the Boatmen Colony on the city outskirts.

According to reports, 20-year old Mushtaq Ahmad Dar had been taken into custody by the troops of army’s 20 Grenadiers from Boatmen Colony near Bemina on the night of April 13, 1997. His mother, Mst Azizi, had approached the High Court through her counsel, Mir Shafqat Husain, alleging the army had arrested her son and seeking Court’s directions to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to justice.

Following High Court directions, police conducted the investigation and filed its report on Wednesday holding the two army officers responsible for the custodial disappearance of Mushtaq Ahmad Dar. In his report, the station house officer, Parimpora Police Station, said that during investigation, it had been established Major Singh and Commandant Malik of army’s 20 Grenadiers, Boatmen Colony camp were involved and that a case had been registered against them u/s 364 RPC for kidnapped of Mushtaq Ahmad with the intention of murder. 

The SHO told the court that after completing all the formalities, the case file had been forwarded to the deputy superintendent of police, West, for further action and to initiate the process to obtain prosecution sanction against the accused officials from the competent authority, after which the case would be produced in the court.

In his report, the SHO said that in a communication addressed to the commanding officer of army’s 20 Grenadiers on November 14, 2009, police had sought his co-operation to provide full details of the Boatmen Colony-based camp to enable completion of the investigation.

On December 2, 2009, the SHO said, Major Adjutant Rahul Jaiswal of 20 Grenadiers, responded to the police communication stating that the said unit of the army had not conducted any operation in Batamloo area on the night of April 13, 1997 nor had its troops arrested Mushtaq Ahmad. The army official further said the High Court had, on July 19, 2005, dismissed the case. However, he had not furnished the copy of any court order to the effect. On the same day (December 2, 2009), he said Rahul Jaiswal was asked to furnish the court order which he did not send despite lapse of three years.

Meanwhile, Justice Muhammad Yaqub Mir of the High Court has asked the director-general of police to report back to the court in two weeks as to what further steps had been taken in the matter and whether the process to obtain prosecution sanction against the two army officials had been set in motion.

Pertinently, India’s defense secretary, Shashi Kant Sharma, has disbursed Rs 10.90 lakh as compensation to Mushtaq’s family on October 11, 2011. (KMN)

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