Imam’s fake encounter: Forensic expert cross examined in court

Imam’s fake encounter: Forensic expert cross examined in court

SRINAGAR: The forensic expert who provided scientific support in the probe into the 2006 fake encounter killing of Imam Showkat Ahmad Kataria was cross examined by the defence counsel before a court here on Tuesday.
The expert, Dr Fareeda Noor, HoD Forensic Medicine department, GMC here, had taken Kataria’s samples for DNA profiling.
After the cross examination, Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar posted the case on February 8.
Kataria was killed in 2006 after he went missing from Zadibal locality in old Srinagar, where he was leading prayers at a local mosque.
According to SIT, which probed the killing, Kataria was picked up by a joint party of Special Operations Group of Ganderbal police and 13 Rashtriya Rifles.
A resident of Doligam-Jabdi, Banihal, Kataria was later killed and dubbed a Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad militant. His body was exhumed from Bazipora-Ajas in Bandipore on February 3, 2007, and his identity established after DNA tests.
The SIT filed a charge-sheet against 11 persons, including five policemen, five army men, a civilian, and a cleric who wanted to lead prayers at Zadibal, for the cold-blooded murder.
While the policemen and the civilian were arrested, the army refused to hand over its accused soldiers, questioning the civil administration’s authority to probe its men when AFSPA, the draconian law affording blanket immunity to the armed forces in Kashmir, is in vogue.
In October 2009, the court had framed charges of murder, criminal conspiracy, and abduction against former senior superintendent of police of Ganderbal, Hans Raj Parihar, former DSP Bahadur Ram, ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo, constables Tariq Ahmad Lone and Manzoor Ahmad Malik, and the civilian, Mohammad Ashraf.

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