BSF to set up court to try officials accused of killing teen

The BSF has decided to set up a General Security Forces Court (GSFC) this week to put on trial its officer and a constable who are accused of killing a teenaged boy in unprovoked firing here early this year.

Last Updated: Nov 28, 2010, 15:09 PM IST

Srinagar: The Border Security Force (BSF) has decided to set up a General Security Forces Court (GSFC) this week to put on trial its officer and a constable who are
accused of killing a teenaged boy in unprovoked firing here early this year.

The GSFC is likely to be constituted on Tuesday or Wednesday to begin court martial proceedings against Commandant RK Birdhi and Constable Lakhvinder Kumar, BSF
sources told a news agency.

The sources said although the case was transferred from the civilian court to GSFC on November 25, there were some procedural formalities to be completed before the trial of the two accused personnel could begin.

Upholding the BSF plea that the accused Commandant and constable were on active duty when they killed 16-year-old Zahid Farooq in unprovoked firing in Nishat area of the city
in February this year, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, Yashpal Bourney transferred the case to GSFC.

In view of the notification issued by the Central government with regard to disturbed areas in the country, including Jammu and Kashmir, the security forces are to be
treated as being on active duty in any part of these states, Bourney had said while announcing the order.

"The notification is for a period of three years and the instant occurrence has taken place within that period. This court has no option but to transfer the case to General
Security Forces Court," the judge said.

Farooq was killed in a firing incident by the troops of 68 Battalion of BSF on February 5 this year, which led to widespread protests and five days of shutdown in the Valley.

Although mystery surrounded the killing of the boy initially, Birdhi and Kumar emerged as suspects after investigations conducted by the police and an internal inquiry by BSF.

While Kumar was handed over to police in February, Birdhi surrendered before the police in March this year.

In April, BSF moved an application seeking transfer of the case to GSFC under Section 80 of the BSF Act claiming that the accused personnel were on active duty when the incident took place.

The Special Public Prosecutor had opposed the transfer saying that killing someone in unprovoked firing cannot be considered as active duty.

Birdhi and Kumar have already been given into BSF custody following court orders.

"The accused personnel were handed over to the BSF authorities in the evening of November 25 in compliance with the court order," the sources said, adding, the process of getting documents and evidence related to the case has been set in motion.

PTI