February 13, 2007 1:32:22 pm
“I am a carpenter. Farooq (Constable Farooq) knows. Please don’t kill me,” Abdul Rehman Padroo shrieked in fear, his hands folded. “Don’t listen to him. He is a dreaded Pakistani terrorist,” shouted Deputy Superintendent of Police Bahadur Ram. Then Padroo was shot.
This is how a policeman with Special Operations Group, Ganderbal, described to investigators the encounter in which a civilian was killed after allegedly being dubbed a militant.
In their first progress report after the expose, investigators from the Jammu and Kashmir Police have termed the case as “abduction and murder”. They are now waiting for a forensic team from Chandigarh to arrive tomorrow and exhume the body for a DNA test.
Meanwhile, Chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has announced a judicial probe withing three months by a serving or retired High Court judge after Opposition National Conference raised the issue of fake encounters in the Legislative Assembly today. The J-K Police has already constituted a special investigating team led by a Superintendent of Police.
The progress report by the investigating team reveals that “the whole conspiracy of abduction and murder of Abdul Rehman Padroo” was unveiled after the interrogation of Assistant Sub Inspector Farooq Ahmad Guddu and Constable Farooq Ahmad, both in police custody.
The questioning of the SOG men, who were part of the joint Ganderbal Police and Rashtriya Rifles team, has put forth shocking details of the final minutes of carpenter Padroo’s life in Waskoora village, few miles away from Ganderbal, on the intervening night of December 8 and 9 last year.
“It was shocking,” a source among the investigators told The Indian Express. “He (the eyewitness policeman) said that Padroo was brought to the SOG camp by constable Farooq in the afternoon and then he was taken to Waskoora that night itself where he was killed,” the source said.
Another policeman who had accompanied the Ganderbal Police team told the investigators that he was part of the cordon which was laid in Waskoora village when carpenter Padroo was taken to a solitary corner. “We heard the sound of firing and then they told us that the Pakistani terrorist had been killed,” he said.
A sub inspector, who was chowki officer in Shadipora then, has told the investigators that he was informed about the killing of a “Pakistani militant in an encounter” later that night. He reportedly told investigators that when he saw the body (of Padroo), he had told ASI Farooq that the body looked like that of a Kashmiri. The ASI had insisted that the body was that of a Pakistani, that his name was Abu Hafiz and he was from Karachi. He was also told that he had been identify by the name found in his diary.
The sub inspector was transferred out from the Chowki immediately after the incident.
PDP for judicial probe into fake encounters
SRINAGAR: As the anger in the Valley is simmering against fake encounter killings, People\\’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti today demanded a judicial probe to investigate all the complaints of fake encounters in the state. “The government should act against all those criminal elements who murdered innocents for petty gains during the turmoil,” Mehbooba said after visiting Padroo\\’s residence.
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