Army personnel booked for killing aged man in J-K

Last Updated: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 20:04

Srinagar: A murder case has been registered
against army personnel by Jammu and Kashmir Police in
connection with the killing of 70-year-old man allegedly
during an encounter with militants, official sources said
on Sunday.

The killing of Habibullah Khan had sparked a
controversy amid conflicting claims by the army and his family
on whether he was with the militants or not.

An FIR under section 302 RPC has been registered
against the troops of Six Rashtriya Rifles for killing
Habibullah Khan allegedly in a fake encounter at Rainawari
forest, 130 kms from here, on Wednesday last, the sources
said.

After Khan was killed, Army had claimed that the
troops shot dead an unidentified "foreign militant" in a
gunfight and recovered an AK assault rifle along with four
magazines and 67 rounds from his possession

However, Khan was identified by his son Raj Mohammad
who claimed that he was a beggar and not linked to any
militant outfit.

Subsequently, on the direction of the District
Development Commissioner Showkat Ahamd Mir the body of the
deceased was exhumed from Magam graveyard yesterday. The
incident sparked protests by the locals who demanded an
inquiry into the incident and punishment to the erring
personnel.

"The family members of the deceased approached my
office and accordingly, I ordered exhumation of the body," Mir
said, adding the body was later buried in the family
graveyard at Devar village of Lolab.

He said preliminary report of police has found that
the old man was not involved in any subversive or militant
activities.

Mir said police have started investigations into the
case to unravel the truth behind the killing of the elderly
villager.

In a fresh statement on the killing of the elderly
person, Army yesterday said Khan was "possibly being exploited
as a guide or human shield".

"It is believed that the weapon and ammunition recovered
was possibly dropped by the fleeing terrorists," the statement
said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 - 20:04

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