Fake encounter mastermind evades Srinagar trial court after being bailed out in Jammu
SRINAGAR: A court on Wednesday issued a warrant against Hans Raj Parihar, a police officer accused of picking up several civilians, murdering them in staged gunfights and passing them off as militants for money and awards.
The warrant was issued by Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar, Rashid Ali Dar, after the former senior superintendent of police failed to turn up before the court in connection with trial in the killing of Abdul Rehman Padroo, who was carpenter by profession. Through the warrant, Parihar has been asked to remain present before the court on next date of proceedings.
Parihar has been released on bail by the high court at Jammu in November last year after the state government said it has “no objections” if he assures that he will not leave the state without prior permission of the court. Parihar had filed the petition before the high court’s Jammu wing and was granted bail, which was later extended from time to time, in three FIRs—06/2007 in Batamaloo-, 04/2007 in Zadibal- and 52/2006 in Sumbal police stations.
While FIR in police station Batamaloo pertains to the killing of Padroo, two other cases had been filed for killing Showkat Ahmad Kataria, who was an Imam (cleric) in a masjid at Zadibal here, and Ghulam Nabi Wani of Kokernag, a cloth merchant.
Apart from Parihar, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has named DySP Bahadur Ram, ASI Farooq Gudoo, driver Farooq Ahmad Padder, Manzoor Ahmad Malik and Constable Bansi Lal as accused in the fake encounter killings.
Besides cops and a civilian, the police had also chargesheeted Col Vikram Singh, Major Rishi Khanna, V K Sharma, Puran Singh and Satpal Singh of 13 Rashtriya Rifles of the army. If proven guilty, accused can face a death or life sentence.
The SIT had exhumed Padroo’s body in Sumbal area of Bandipora district. He had gone missing from Batmaloo bus stand on 8 December 2006, and was allegedly taken to Waskoora Ganderbal 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 Pakistani but the abducted carpenter.
Padroo was the lone son of frail old parents, father of five daughters, youngest just three months old when he was killed.
Kataria, a resident of Banihal in Jammu region, was picked up by the SOG men in league with army and he was subsequently killed in a fake gunfight in October 2006 and was passed off as a ‘foreign militant’. Kataria’s identity was established after DNA tests.
As per the SIT, Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Choont Waliwar Ganderbal, who intended to lead the prayers at Zadibal, had hatched a conspiracy with Constable Tariq Ahmad Lone of Kupwara to eliminate Kataria.
Lone informed Gudoo, who was in charge SOG camp Ganderbal, about the plan and finally the preparations were finalized with SSP Parihar and DSP Bahadur Ram, the SIT said.
The cops contacted army’s Vikram Singh and others and plan was executed as SOG and the military kidnapped Kataria from the mosque on the fateful day and later killed him in fake encounter at Ajas Bandipora. Kataria was passed off Pakistan militant ‘Abu Zahid’.
The plan, according to SIT, was revealed before it by ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo during the investigation of the fake encounter killing of Padroo.
Ghulam Nabi Wani from Nobugh Kokernag, was picked up from outside Biscoe school in Lal Chowk where he plied a cart for selling cloths. A father of four children, Wani was also killed in fake encounter in Sumbal Bandipore district in 2006. He was passed off, according to SIT charge sheet, as Zulfikar Ahmad, a resident of Pakistan administered Kashmir.