Bandipora: A court in Bandipora rejected bail to two brothers accused in the killing of a dreaded former counterinsurgent, Abdul Rashid Parray alias Rashid Billa.
Principal District and Session Judge Bandipora rejected the bail despite the defence counsel plea that the custody of the accused has been transferred to a different FIR to avert the default bail on completion of 180 days, without a chargesheet.
Mohammad Arif Parray and his brother Parvaiz Ahmad Parray, both residents of Para Mohalla Hajin in District Bandipora, are accused in the killing of Rashid Billa, a former commander of the dreaded government backed counter insurgency group, Ikhwan in a case registered under FIR NO.22/2017 at Police station Hajin under section 302 (murder), 120-B/RPC, 7/27 Arms Act and 15, 16 & 18 Unlawful activities.
Billa, at the time of his killing, was wanted in several cases, including being a prime accused in Saderkoot Massacre, where he was evading arrest.
He was killed on the night of April 16, 2017 by gunmen who barged into his house in Hajin and shot him dead.
Ironically, the government had earlier declared Billa as “untraced” and the house where he was killed as “seized property”.
Billa’s son told media after the killing that that two of his neighbours, including a childhood friend called for them to open the gate, but were accompanied by two gunmen.
The defense counsel pleaded that the arrests have been made in the case FIR NO. 22/2017 on 04-06-2017 with just three days left for completion of 180 days, but the custody of the accused has been changed to another FIR “with a design to take away the right of default bail accrued to the accused”.
He said the police have miserably failed to complete the investigation and file a charge sheet against the accused applicants within 180 days, and hence the accused may be released on default bail.
The public prosecutor described the bail application as misconceived and contrary to the law and facts. He said the “accused are involved in the commission of the aforementioned offenses wherein the bail is neither admissible nor permissible at this stage…”
The defence counsel submitted that the accused have been implicated in a “false and frivolous case” and are under custody for more than 208 days.
He insisted that in order to take away the right to bail, the investigating agency at the completion of 180 days has changed the custody from one FIR to another FIR “which is against the spirit of law”.
The court however, rejected the bail.