.: Human Rights

Date: 16 Jul 2011

Ganderbal Fake encounter case
Witnesses absent, hearing adjourned

SRINAGAR, July 15: The hearing in Ganderbal fake encounter case was today adjourned as no witness was present in the court to get his statement recorded.
On Thursday, although the witnesses were present but the case was adjourned because the judge was not available in the court.
Earlier on June 24, the principal district and session’s court had adjourned hearing in the matter as the prosecution witnesses were absent.
Prosecution witnesses who are the two experts working in Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) Chandigarh could not cause their presence due to unknown reasons, sources had told Kashmir Times. Similarly, two other witnesses, who work in Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) Srinagar were also absent.
On May 25, court recorded statement of a Judicial Magistrate before whom the police had conducted identification parade of Farooq Ahmad Padroo one of the main accused in Ganderbal fake encounter case.
The magistrate had deposed before the court of principal district and session’s judge that the witnesses had identified Farooq Padroo in an identification parade conducted before him. The magistrate R K Watal was later cross examined by the defense lawyers for over three hours.
Earlier as the case came up for hearing on May 3 before Principal District and Session’s judge, Imtiaz Ahmad Lone the Judicial Magistrate whose statement was partially recorded by the court on April 23, was posed different questions by defence lawyers.
On April 23, during the hearing, Bhansi Lal Bhat, Principal District and Session’s judge Srinagar had recorded the statement of Judicial Magistrate as a prosecution witness in the matter.
Lone in capacity of a Judicial Magistrate had recorded the statements of two witnesses during the process of investigation into the incident which had led to killing of three innocent civilians including Abdul Rehman Padroo, 35, a carpenter from Larnoo Kokernag.
Padroo was killed in a fake encounter on the outskirts of Ganderbal and later labeled as a militant from Multan-Pakistan affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba--a banned militant orgnaisation. The victim carpenter had went missing from Batmaloo bus stand on December 8, reportedly after he was taken to Waskoora in Ganderbal district during the night where he was killed allegedly in a fake encounter by the Special Operation Group (SOG) posted in Ganderbal and Sumbal camps.
A body with mutilated face was later recovered from the spot whom the SOG had dubbed as a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant, Abu Hafiz of Multan Pakistan besides claiming recovery of some ammunition from the encounter site, sources in police had said. After the racket got cracked by the police, the DNA taken from the body of Padroo exhumed in Ganderbal matched with that of his relatives in Larnoo Kokernag, confirming that the gunned down ‘foreign militant’ was not from Pakistan but an abducted carpenter.
Around 11 police personnel from SOG were arrested in the case. On April 18, 2007, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police, led by the then SP Srinagar (East) Anand Jain presented charge sheet four army personnel and five policemen in the enforced disappearance case of Wani.
The charge sheet was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Bandipora. The accused included the then SSP Ganderbal Hans Raj Parihar, his deputy Bahadur Ram, the then ASI Farooq Gudoo, driver Farooq Ahmad Padder and Constable Bhansi Lal. The four accused army personnel included 13 RR Colonel Vikram Singh, Major Naveen Yadaw,
Hawaldar K Mohandas and Naik Manoj Singh.
Padroo, left behind his shattered family which include his father Ghulam Rasool, 74, mother Sara, 69, wife Muneera 34 and five children Rasi Jaan , Gazia, Rahil and Insha.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Jammu and Kashmir Police was constituted investigate the crime. The deceased were later identified as Abdul Rehman Padaroo, a carpenter who disappeared on December 8 last year; Nazeer Ahmed Deka, who was killed in an alleged fake encounter in Ganderbal in February 2006 and Showkat Ahmad Khan, who disappeared in October 2006. The SIT had exhumed Padaroo’s body in Sumbal area of Baramulla district.

[Kashmir Times]

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