Human Rights

J&K “encounter”: Antony orders probe

New Delhi: Expressing concern over reports of the fake encounter of a mentally-challenged (Hindu) man in Poonch on 7 August, Defence Minister A K Antony on 10 August directed the Army to conduct an inquiry into the incident and asked it to submit a detailed report within a week. Shocked over the killing which came to light after it was discovered that the “hardcore Lashkar divisional commander Abu Usman” who was shot dead after a “12-hour encounter” was actually a mentally-challenged civilian, the ministry has asked the Army for an explanation. The Army had claimed that a pistol, ammunition and other war-like stores were also ‘recovered’ from the body. Sources said the ministry was also shocked at the explanation given by the Army on the matter that it was misled by a Special Police Officer (SPO) and a jawan of the Territorial Army who had conspired together for personal benefit. The duo had allegedly killed the civilian and passed him off as a militant to gain rewards and promotion from security forces. “The matter is very serious as the policy of rewarding and giving promotions for kills has been discontinued for the past several years. It has to be explained how the persons responsible were to gain from the killing and who encouraged them,” a senior official said. The ministry is specially concerned as the incident can have far-reaching repercussions in the state.” Just one incident of gross human rights violation like this erodes all the good work that has gone in for the past months,” the official said. What has irked the ministry is the elaborate story that was drawn up to explain the encounter before it was exposed as false.

MG News Desk

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

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