Ex-Hizb commander sentenced to life by Kashmir court

Ex-Hizb commander sentenced to life by Kashmir court

Srinagar: A former divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahedeen was on Thursday sentenced to life imprisonment in a case of murder in Pattan area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district nine years ago.

The district and additional sessions judge Baramulla, Tasleem Arif convicted Maqsood Ahmad Bhat on the charges of murdering Dr Reyaz Ahmed Bhat in 2005.

The additional Sessions Judge Baramulla further observed that this is a case of murder without any enmity. There is nothing so uncommon about this crime to deem it as exceptional case in which instead of life imprisonment, death sentence could be awarded. Though the innocent has lost life in the instant case but it does not fall in the category of rarest of rare cases where the death sentence is warranted. The convict is therefore sentenced to imprisonment for life for the commission of offence u/s 302 RPC and 7/27 I A Act.

According to the prosecution, the accused Maqsood Bhat killed a person Dr Reyaz Ahmed Bhat of Hanzura Pattan, a PDP Block President, on June 16, 2005. “A case under FIR no. 87/2005 under section 302 of the RPC was registered in police station Pattan”.

“I am of the considered opinion that the case of the convicts is not the rarest of the rare case where the convict should forfeit his right to life because no case for awarding capital punishment is made out,” Judge Tasleem Arief said in his judgment.

According to police, Maqsood Ahmad Bhat alias Tariq alias Altaf Sheikh Son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Parraypora in Mamoosa Pattan was apprehended by the police from Pattan on 15 January in 2007. The police said Bhat, a Hizb divisional commander, was active in north Kashmir since 1996 and involved in the killing of eleven people including the PDP Block President Dr Reyaz Ahmed Bhat. (GNS)

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