Ex-Hizb Commander gets lifer in Baramulla

Baramulla: A local court here on Thursday sentenced former Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen to life imprisonment after holding him guilty of killing a doctor, also a former block president of opposition Peoples Democratic Party, in 2005.
The court of First Additional sessions Judge Baramulla Tasleem Arief, also imposed fine of Rs 10000 on the ‘Commander’ Maqsood Ahmad Bhat, son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat.
According to the prosecution, Bhat had killed one Dr Reyaz Ahmed Bhat (a BUMS doctor) of Hanzura Pattan, also PDP Block President, on June 16, 2005.
Subsequently a case (FIR no. 87/2005) under section 302 of the RPC and section 7/27 arms Act was registered in police station Pattan against him and subsequently charge sheet was filed.
While announcing the sentence, the court spared Bhat of noose, observing that the case does not fall in the rarest of cases.
“Since the Supreme Court has declared void and ultra vires the constitution, the provisions contained in section 27 (3) of the Arms Act, 1959, the convict in the instant case cannot be awarded sentence of death,” the court said and sentence him to life.
“The period of imprisonment already undergone by the convict as an undertrial in the instant case shall be considered while commuting the sentence.”
Bhat alias Tariq alias Altaf Sheikh of Parraypora in Mamoosa Pattan was arrested by the police from Pattan on January 15 in 2007. The police said Bhat, a Hizb divisional commander, was active in north Kashmir since 1996.