HC Dismisses PIL Seeking Probe Into 2 Fake Encounters In 2016

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition, seeking a probe into alleged fake encounters at Chak Dragmulla Kupwara and Sarai Bala Srinagar in 2016. 

 “We are of the considered view that this is not a case where this Court would need to take any action in exercise of its inherent powers, for, the State and its functionaries have already taken the required steps envisaged by law,” a division bench of Justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Sanjeev Kumar said and dismissed the petition.  

The petition in Public Interest was filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association, seeking probe to be monitored by senior officer into the alleged fake encounters at Chak Dragmulla Kupwara on May 21 and at Sarai Bala here on May 23, 2016.   

The lawyers body had referred to various newspaper reports and said five militants were killed and three army men injured in a nine-hour long encounter in Chak Dragmulla with government forces blowing up the house where they claimed the militants were hiding.

After handing over to the bodies to local Auqaf Committee for last rites, but the local residents delayed the burial and kept the bodies at a seminary for the night, contesting the government forces claim that the five militants were killed in a gunfight and, instead, averred that the encounter was a fake and staged one. 

Regarding the killing of two youth at Sarai Bala, the landlady in whose house the duo was residing on rent, contested the claim of the police by stating that they were not militants but students who could speak in Kashmiri and only carried books and clothes with them. 

The police authorities as well as the Union of India filed their respective objections to the petition, maintaining that the encounters were genuine, leading to the killing of seven militants.  

Union of India had submitted that based on a specific input about the presence of five militants in a house in village Chak Drugmulla, a joint operation was lunched, resulting in elimination of five foreign militants. 

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Kupwara as regards the incident at Chak Drugmulla, Kupwara and stated that search operation at Check-e-Drugmulla on 21 May 2016 at about 06.00 a.m. and that FIR No. 100/2016 under Sections 307 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act was registered in Police Station, Kupwara. He further stated that the militants who were hiding in the house of one Mohammad Syed Shah son of Bahaw-ud-Din shaw, opened fire on government forces, who retaliated and the exchange of fire at regular intervals continued upto 5 p.m. 

During the course of operation, the militants showered bullets and also threw hand grenades on forces which resulted in injuries to several army personnel, he said. Finally, the SSP said the house where the militants had taken refuge was brought to ground and bodies of five unidentified militants were recovered from the spot alongwith arms and ammunition. The 

The SSP Srinagar as regards Sarai Bala submitted that on 23 May 2016, the Police Station, Sheergadi, Srinagar submitted that during search operation, unknown militants started fire indiscriminately on the search party which retaliated the firing for self-defense, leading to killing of the two militants. He said that one of the slain militant was identified as Saifullah of PaK and identity of the other militant was being ascertained.  

While dismissing the petition, the bench observed that that there was no reason for it to suspect that the police would not do what was required to be done it. 

“…In the face of the prayer sought for by the petitioner (KHCBA) in the instant petition, if the same is allowed and an investigation, at this stage, by some authority is ordered, what would be the function of the authority sought to be appointed: would it supervise the investigation or conduct a parallel investigation, that too, with the aid of a team of police Officers,” said the court. 

Further, it said, there was no reason for the Court to suspect that the Police would not do what is required of them under the Code of Criminal Procedure to achieve the objectives.  “Even if, for the sake of argument, a probe is ordered, any report that may ultimately be made by such authority would not be more than a recommendation. And such authority, for formulation of such recommendation, would again be dependent upon the very same police agency,” the court said and dismissed the petition.  

 

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