Kupwara court awards lifer to ex-STF man for murdering civilian

Kupwara: A local here on Monday awarded life sentence to a former member of police’s Special Task Force for killing a civilian in this frontier district in 2006.
“From the perusal of the file, it appears the accused; a man of hardly 20 years had been assigned the weapon by the Task Force. He was handed over the weapons to achieve the purpose, that is, to fight the militancy. It is however clear that without any training of discipline and without the proper regular training, the weapon has been handed over to the accused. The power of gun seems to have overshadowed the thinking of the accused. He has committed the offence during the peak of militancy when he was associated with Special Operations Group. Therefore in the instant case when the aggravating and mitigating circumstances are weighed and balanced I don’t think this is a case which falls within the definition of rarest of rare cases for which capital punishment is to be awarded,” reads the judgment passed by Sessions Court Kupwara.
Subsequently, the court held the accused, Bilal Ahmad Banday, son of Abdul Khaliq Banday, a resident of Warnow, guilty for the commission of offence punishable under section 302 RPC and awarded him simple imprisonment for life and fine of five thousand rupees.
“In terms of section 397 (A) the period of detention undergone by the convict during the investigation and trial is set off against the term of imprisonment awarded for commission of offence US 302 RPC. In default of the payment of fine the accused shall further undergo simple imprisonment for three months,” the court said.
The case dates back to May 1, 2006 when Police Post Khurhama received information that at Khurhama Bazaar some unidentified persons fired bullets upon Mohammad Altaf Lone, son of Abdul Aziz Lone and Mohammad Yaseen Bhat, son of Ali Mohammad Bhat of Tankipora, Khurhama.
The charge sheet, filed by police, reads that Altaf died on the spot and Yaseen was injured. Both were working as informers with 8 Sector RR (a counter-militancy group of Indian army operating in Kashmir). The police station Lalpora conducted investigation of the case under FIR 23/2006 US 302 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act.
During the course of investigation the offences were proved and established against Banday who was also an army source with counter intelligence group operating in his locality.
Subsequently he was chargesheeted U/S 302 RPC and 7/25 arms act in sessions court Kupwara.