A J&K Police probe into the death of a 30-year-old college lecturer, allegedly beaten in Army custody in August 2016, has held 23 Army personnel responsible, and sanction has been sought for their prosecution since that’s a requirement under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, a report by Indian Express said.
The report quoting police said that the Army cooperated in the probe and allowed investigators to record statements of the Army personnel.
“We haven’t filed a chargesheet yet. We will require sanction for prosecution under AFSPA for that,” he said. “I won’t be able to talk about the outcome of our investigation,” the report quoted Awantipora SSP Mohammad Zahid.
On the night of August 17, 2016, Shabir Ahmad Mango, a 30-year-old college lecturer, was beaten to death, allegedly by Army personnel in Sharshali village of Khrew in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
It was alleged that Army personnel had beaten village residents with wooden planks, iron rods and rifle butts, that they had barged into Shabir’s house, dragged him out and beaten him before taking him away. Residents said more than 20 youth from the village were taken away.
Shabir’s body was taken to the Sub District Hospital in Pampore. There was an uproar and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti promised stern action against Army personnel found guilty. She announced in the J&K assembly that a J&K Police SIT would probe the incident.
The J&K Police, sources in the state government said, has sought sanction to prosecute 23 Army personnel in the case. The Centre hasn’t granted sanction in any such case earlier. In January, the government informed Rajya Sabha that between 2001 and 2016, the Ministry of Defence received 50 requests for prosecution sanction from the J&K government — sanction was denied in 47, while three were pending. Charges in these cases related to killing of civilians, custodial deaths, disappearances, rapes and molestation.