Srinagar: A day after the police filed a chargesheet against six persons blaming them for the killing of a top counter insurgency cop, Altaf Dar alias ‘Altaf Laptop’, militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba on Friday claimed that their slain commander Abu Qasim had killed him. The outfit alleged that the police was trying to implicate civilians in Altaf’s killing.
A local news agency quoted the outfit chief Mehmood Shah saying that the “Police have suffered a serious setback by the death of Altaf Dar; as a result it has started blaming some civilians for his death. It was Abu Qasim who killed him.” He said that civilians like Showkat Hakeem and Mehrajuddin were not affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba. “To avenge the death of the cop, police have been implicating innocent civilians,” he said.
Meanwhile, the family members of the accused too have questioned the claims of the police made in the chargesheet. All the accused are residents of Hajin, Sonawari. Families of the accused persons told Kashmir Reader that the claims made by police in the chargesheet came as shock to them. They however said they had full faith in the judiciary.
Ghulam Mohammad, father of one of the accused Showkat Hakim, claimed that his son has been falsely implicated in the case. “He is innocent,” he said. “Police was always after my son. It has been a policy of the police to implicate innocent people in false cases. I will challenge the chargesheet in the court,” he said.
Zooni, mother of another accused, Mehrajuddin Nanda said, “Mehraj is my only son among eight daughters and he is innocent.” She claimed that when SI Altaf was killed, her son was busy in the paddy fields. Parents of Mohammad Younis and Manzoor Ahmad Parray, the other accused, too asserted that the allegations leveled against their sons were false.
Police in its chargesheet claimed that militants were travelling in the vehicle of Manzoor Ahmad, a driver by profession, when SI Altaf was killed. Mohammad Shafi, father of Manzoor Ahmed claimed that militants had stopped and boarded the vehicle on gunpoint. “How can my son be blamed for it,” he said. Owner of the vehicle, Younis Ahmed Dar too has been chargesheeted in the case.
The families of the accused persons have asked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir to look into the matter and find out the facts.
Police had yesterday filed a chargesheet in Bandipora court. Among the six accused in the case, four have been arrested and chargesheeted while one among them, Abu Rehman alias Abu Qasim, LeT chief from Bahawalpur, Multan, Pakistan, was killed in an encounter with government forces in Kulgam. Another accused Tauseef Sheikh from South Kashmir is at large.
The accused have been booked under Sections 302, 307, 120B, 49, 427 RPC also including 7/27 Arms act and 16 and 18 Unlawful Activities. It took the police almost six months to file the chargesheet. A good number of policemen are among 59 witnesses named in the case.
Meanwhile, Muslim League general secretary Abdul Ahad has strongly condemned the police action saying it was falsely implicating their party activists. Two of the accused, Showkat Ahmed and Mehraj-u-Din, are said to be associated with the League.