Ganderbal fake encounter: Court stops salary of SSP over non-appearance

Srinagar: A trial court here on Thursday directed government not to pay Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, Uttam Chand salary for month of January till he appears before it in connection with the fake encounter killing of a carpenter in 2006.
“Prima facie, the approach and conduct of the witness (Chand) appears to be of such a nature which cannot be taken light note of. No justification has been put forth as to why (he) is not present,” said Principal Sessions Judge Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar as Chand failed to appear for cross-examination by the counsel for the accused, advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar.
“Let a notice go to the witness through Chief Secretary of the state and the Director General of Police as to show cause as to why (Chand) be not proceeded under law for obstructing the course of justice,” the court said and directed that the salary Chand for the current month “be not disbursed until the witness makes himself available for the cross examination.”
The court directed that a copy of the order be handed over to Public Prosecutor for communication to the Chief Secretary and the DGP.
“Prosecution is also directed to summon the witness for February 4 for recording his statement,” the court added.
Chand headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that probed the killing of Abdul Rehman Padroo, a carpenter from Kokernag, who had been passed off as Lashkar militant Abu Zahid and killed in a fake encounter. The seven accused include former SSP Hans Raj Parihar who is in currently under detention at Central Jail Srinagar.
Chand has already recorded his statement before the court in November 2013 that the fake encounter case was ‘rarest of the rare’ cases and prayed for death sentence to all the seven accused.
Besides Parihar, the SIT had found Dy SP Bahadur Ram, ASI Farooq Gudoo, driver Farooq Ahmad Padder, Manzoor Ahmad Malik and constable Bansi Lal guilty of killing the carpenter.
The SIT had exhumed Padroo’s body in Sumbal area of Bandipora district. Padroo had gone missing from Batamaloo bus stand on December 8, 2006 and taken to Waskoora in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district where he was killed in the fake encounter by the accused, working with Special Operation Group (SOG) posted in Ganderbal and Sumbal camps.
The DNA taken from the body of Padroo matched with that of his relatives in Larnoo Kokernag, confirming that the killed ‘foreign militant’ was not a Pakistani militant but the abducted carpenter.
Police had on February 3, 2007 arrested Parihar and other accused.