Imam’s fake encounter killing: Trial adjourned

Imam’s fake encounter killing: Trial adjourned

SRINAGAR: A court here on adjourned case related to 2006 fake encounter killing of Imam (cleric) Showkat Ahmad Kataria.
Kataria was killed in 2006 after he went missing from Srinagar’s Zadibal locality where he was leading prayers at a local mosque.
No witness was produced by the prosecution before the Principal District and Session Judge Srinagar and the case has now been listed on February 22.
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 chargesheet against 11 persons, including five policemen as many army men and a civilian, a cleric who wanted to leader 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 administrations authority to probe its men under AFSPA, the draconian law affording blanket immunity to Indian armed forces in Kashmir.
In October 2009, the court had framed charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and abduction against former SSP Hans Raj Parihar, former DSP Bahadur Ram, ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo and Constables Tariq Ahmad Lone and Manzoor Ahmad Malik and the civilian Mohammad Ashraf.

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