The case regarding an alleged fake encounter in which Army Chief-in-waiting Lt General Bikram Singh was injured is likely to be listed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court next week.
The Defence Ministry had,in a March 23 submission to the court, claimed that the encounter in Anantnag town was genuine and had rejected the allegation of Zytoona Begum that the Army had killed her innocent son in cold blood.
Begum had,with the help of NGO Youth Empowerment Services,filed a petition in the court in October last,seeking re-investigation into the killing of her son Mohammad Abdullah Bhat at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag on March 1,2001. In her petition,the mother had said she spent years searching for Abdullah after he went missing from Anantnag,where he worked as a labourer,only to learn that he had been killed in a fake encounter. The Army,however,has maintained that the encounter was not fake and that Lt Gen Singh was indeed injured.
In its submission to the court,the Defence Ministry claimed that Singh,then a Brigadier who headed 1 Sector Rashtriya Rifles,was returning to his headquarters in an Army convoy when it was attacked at Janglat Mandi. A militant who posed as a beggar opened fire on the convoy. In the attack,Colonel J P Janu and rifleman Ganesh Kumar were killed,Lt Gen Singh and another officer were injured. Later,an identity card belonging to Mateen Chacha was also recovered from the possession of the militant, it claimed.
To back its claim,the ministry also submitted a report of the police investigation into the encounter as well as records of the Armys 92 Base Hospital,where Lt Gen Singh was reportedly treated for his wounds.