Kashmir parties welcome Army Court’s decision to life imprisonment Captain, seek probe into other incidents

SRINAGAR — As the Army’s Court on Sunday recommended life imprisonment for Captain involved in killing of three civilians in a fake encounter in Amshipora village of Shopian district in July 2020, the political parties have welcomed the move and seek probes into other incidents in which the conduct of the security forces had come into question.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti in a tweet said, “Recommended punishment of life imprisonment for the Captain involved in Amshipora fake encounter is a welcome step towards creating accountability in such cases.”

She said the Amshipora case highlights the need for accountability in the security forces.

“It is important to note that this case highlights the need for better accountability and oversight mechanisms within the armed forces to prevent such incidents from happening in the first place. The fact that the accused was able to commit such a heinous crime and pass off innocent civilians as militants raise serious concerns about the culture of impunity and lack of accountability that often pervades within the military,” she said in a statement, according to The Indian Express.

Reiterating her demand for a probe into the Lawaypora and Hyderpora alleged fake encounters, the PDP chief said such inquiries were important to gain the trust of people.

“In order to build trust between the civilian population and the military and work towards a peaceful and just society, conducting thorough investigations into Lawaypora and Hyderpora encounters and holding the perpetrators accountable for their actions is imperative. Going forward, it is crucial that the Armed forces take concrete steps to ensure that their personnel adhere to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.”

She hoped that the investigating agencies would also “probe the recent case, in which the mutilated dead body of Rashid Dar of Kunan village in Kupwara had been found in a forest after he had gone missing in army custody two months earlier”.

“I think it is a welcome decision. We welcome it. Justice has prevailed. Army has set a good example by court-martial of the guilty and by punishing him. Now there are some other cases, where lots of questions have been raised like the Lawaypora encounter and the Kunan Poshpora incident (where a civilian went missing from Army custody). We expect and we believe that the Army will conduct an impartial inquiry into these incidents as well where lots of questions have been raised over the conduct of the Army, National Conference spokesperson Imran Nabi said according to The Indian Express.

CPI(M) leader M Y Tarigami said justice had been done but a bit late.

“A sentence has been given. It is appropriate and he deserved it. At least, a bit late but justice has been done. Whenever they (security forces) go astray and do unlawful actions, it is in the interest of the people, in the interest of the country and finally to uphold the rule of law that they are made accountable,” Tarigami said according to The Indian Express.

He said the unlawful activities can’t be countered with unlawful activities.

“The unlawful activities can be controlled by adhering to the rule of law. Custodial killings, arbitrary killings are unjustified, not in the interest of the country,” he said.

“Some people say that by questioning the conduct of the security forces you are demoralising them which is absolutely wrong assumption. Fact remains that people expect them to uphold the rule of law. If they fail, the people get demoralised and that has a bigger cost.”

Army Captain Bhoopendra Singh of the 62 Rashtriya Rifles was found guilty for killing three persons namely Abrar Ahmed, Imtiyaz Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar from Rajouri district in a fake encounter in Amshipora Shopian in July, 2020. — The Indian Express