Human Rights

NHRC seeks report over fake encounter in Kashmir

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Jammu and Kashmir government and Centre seeking a report about the allegation of a fake encounter of a civilian in Poonch. In a startling revelation the Lashkar militant killed on 7 August by the army turned out to be Ashok Kumar, a civilian residing in Poonch.

Army while defending its stand has said that on the basis of input received two men, one from the Special Operation Group and the other from the army launched the operation and killed him. Ashok was killed by Special Police Officer and army personnel by projecting him as the terrorist named Abu Usman. The killers of Ashok have been arrested and during interrogation the two men revealed that in order to earn favour of seniors they killed a mentally disturbed man roaming in a market in Rajouri in a fake encounter. The Commission in a statement said, “On consideration of complaints, notices have been issued to the Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police, Poonch, and the secretary, ministry of defence, and directed them to take appropriate action with regard to the investigation of the case as per guidelines laid down by the commission.” NHRC has also sought a magisterial enquiry report, autopsy report and investigation carried out so far within eight weeks. The commission has also asked the Superintendent of Police, Poonch, to inform as to why the death in the police action was not reported to it within 48 hours as per the NHRC revised guidelines.

Defence Minister A K Antony while expressing concern over the fake encounter has ordered the Army to conduct an impartial probe into the killings and report it to the ministry within a week. Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir in his Independence Day speech once again reiterated his commitment of zero tolerance for human rights violation in the state.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2011 on page no. 11

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