Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah questioned the bail granted to an army Captain convicted of killing three civilians in a “staged” encounter in 2020.
National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar termed it a reminder from the Union government that the blood of people of J&K is “cheap”. The armed forces tribunal in New Delhi on Monday suspended the life sentence of Captain Bhoopendra Singh who was found guilty of killing three youths in a “staged” encounter in south Kashmir’s Amshipora village in July 2020.
The three men, hailing from Rajouri district of Jammu region, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar, were killed in a remote hilly village in Shopian district on July 18, 2020 and labelled as “terrorists”.
Omar said, “We are reminded repeatedly by the Centre that our blood is cheap, that there is no value of our blood. When our people get killed, no body is bothered.”
“I was surprised to see yesterday’s news that the Army officer who killed three men from Rajouri in a fake encounter in Shopian, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by army court martial. Yesterday, he was released and set free. How unfortunate!” Abdullah told party convention in Tangmarg area of Baramulla district.
The former chief minister said people from J&K who are in jails without any charges were not getting bail. “How many of our youths are in jails after 2019. Our government employees are dismissed from service without any procedure, bulldozers are run over the houses of people on smallest of charges. But a man who has been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing three civilians from Rajouri will be free now,” he added.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said the bail granted to the army officer raises serious questions on the sanctity of the judicial process.
“Just spoke with the father of the innocent civilian killed in the fake Amshipora encounter. He is utterly devastated by the army tribunal’s decision to revoke the life sentence judgement given to the Captain, who himself admitted to the crime. Raises serious questions on the sanctity of the judicial process,” Mehbooba posted on micro-blogging platform “X”.
The family of the three civilians killed in the fake encounter of the three civilians in July 2020 have said they will challenge the order of the armed forces tribunal.