The conclusion by the Army Court of Inquiry that the “evidence recorded could not establish a prima facie case against any of the accused” flies in the face of findings by the CBI, which accused five Rashtriya Rifles personnel of cold-blooded murder, and repeatedly stressed that the encounter was fake. Excerpts from the CBI’s chargesheet:
The Army Unit of 7 RR… was under tremendous psychological pressure to show some results… The then Col Ajay Saxena, the then Major B P Singh, Maj. Sourabh Sharma, Subedar Idrees Khan and other personnel… hatched a criminal conspiracy to pick up some innocent persons and stage manage an encounter to create an impression that the militants responsible for the Chhittisingh Pora killings had been neutralised.
Jumma Khan, 55 (son of Amirullah Khan), was abducted from his house by 10/12 gunmen in Army uniform in the night of 23/24.03.2000 at 0100 hrs… Jumma Khan, s/o Faqirullah Khan, (50), was abducted from his house by 5/6 gunmen in Army uniform in the same night at 0200 hrs. Zahoor Ahmed Dalai disappeared into thin air from village Mominabad in the evening of 24.03.2000 under mysterious circumstances. Further, Bashir Ahmed Bhatt and Mohd. Yousuf Malik of Hallen disappeared from village Sheerpora under suspicious circumstances on 24.03.2000 evening. The fact that they belonged to different villages situated in a radius of 5/6 kms; had not been seen together; were never seen in Army uniform; were never found in possession of weapons etc., and had no history of militant activity establishes that the encounter was fake.
Two among them were identified the very next day. One Moulvi Qasim of Pathribal, a relative, had identified the bodies of the two Juma Khans from Brari Angan village. When the dead bodies were subsequently exhumed, Mirza Noori identified the body of her husband from a cyst on his head and finger ring.
It is claimed in the ‘After Action Report’ by the Army Unit that Mohd. Yaqoob Wagey arrested in the Chhittisingh Pora massacre had given information on 24.03.2000 about the location of a hideout where a group of terrorists responsible for the massacre were likely to be hiding… But in the list of names of militants and overground workers given by Wagey, the names of five persons killed in this encounter do not figure…
It is falsely claimed by the accused that the information given by Wagey (a local milkman) was shared by the SSP with them at 11 pm on 24.03.2000 and immediately ‘Operation Swift’ was planned. The investigation has disclosed that all the 5 killed persons were continued…