HC accepts session judge’s report on Kupwara man’s killing

‘Man died in Army firing, not in militancy related incident’

D A RASHID
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 18 2018 12:22AM | Updated Date: May 18 2018 12:22AM
HC accepts session judge’s report on Kupwara man’s killing

The High Court on Thursday accepted an inquiry report by Principal Sessions Judge Kupwara confirming that a man had died in army firing in 1993, and not in any militant related incident. 

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed government to treat the death of Ahmad Lone as death of a civilian caused in firing by army personnel and not due to militancy related incident. Abdul Ahad Lone, son of deceased Ahmad had approached the court seeking directions for handing over the probe related to the case to Crime Branch.  

The court said the next of kin of the deceased shall be entitled to all benefits those are available to dependent of a civilian killed in an action by the state as per applicable norms. The court directed the government to consider Ahad’s claim for permissible benefits like ex-gratia, compassionate appointment or payment of cash compensations in lieu of compassionate appointment as may be permissible under applicable norms and rules of the state within two months.  

Ahad had submitted before the court that he was working as a casual labour with Army and he had to carry load from base camp to advanced pickets, in jungles of Kupwara. On 18 May 1993, he said, he was given a heavy load which he could not carry alone. Therefore, he asked his father to help him to carry the load at the requisite place.

After delivering the load, he said, Ahmad left for his home and he had to pass through a thick forest. He contended that in the evening when he came home he found that his father had not returned. He went back to Army camp and reported about missing of his father. 

Thereafter, on 19 May 1993, Lone submitted a report in police station Kupwara. After permission was granted, that too, after eight days, to search for missing Lone, they his body was kept under the bushes. 

Thereafter the body was handed over to police and autopsy was conducted. But no investigation in the matter was conducted nor was any information given to family about the outcome of the investigation. 

The government said that a report was lodged by Major Pankaj Joshi of 12 Mahar Regiment on 21 May 1993 with police station Kralpora stating that the patrolling party noticed one person in suspicious manner. “The said person lobbed grenades on patrolling party and in the encounter he was seriously injured. As per the report, the person before succumbing to his injuries revealed the patrolling party that he was acting as guide. The body was buried on 19 May 1999,” Army said. Accordingly, FIR (No.56/93 under Section ¾ TADA) was registered and investigation was taken up.  The state said that Ahad also lodged a report with the police station Trehgam regarding death of his father. “It appears that the Police while registering FIR at the instance of Major Pankaj Joshi did not register any case on the report filed by (Ahad). Resultantly, investigation was conducted only in case FIR No.56 of 1993 and concluded as ‘not traced’.” 

The Final police report was filed before the magistrate that was accepted. On 5 March 2012, having regard to the controversy involved, the court asked the sessions Judge Kupwara to inquire into the matter and submit his report.

 

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