An army court has awarded life imprisonment to an officer involved in a staged encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. Captain Bhupinder Singh, accused in the fake encounter, was sentenced to life imprisonment after court martial proceedings were completed a few days ago, official sources said.
In July 2020, three labourers were killed at Amshipora in Shopian district. Army officers had claimed they were Pakistani terrorists and with their killing, terror threat was eliminated in the district.
But days later, locals alleged that the three young men killed were cousins from Rajouri district who were working as labourers. After protests by the families, the army ordered an investigation.
A court of inquiry instituted by the army had found that the troops had exceeded powers vested under Armed Forces Special Power Act or AFSPA and acted in contravention to the rules approved by the Supreme Court. The army had also claimed recovery of huge cache of arms from the “encounter” site and that disciplinary action would be taken.
The Jammu and Kashmir police have already filed a chargesheet on the killing, naming the army captain and two civilians. They have been accused of hatching a conspiracy, kidnapping and killing three cousins from Rajouri and passing them as hardcore Pakistani terrorists.
“The inquiry ordered by the Army authorities into Op Amshipora has been concluded. The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the have been contravened,” a defense spokesman had said.