Five Indians face arrest for fake encounter

2 April 2008
The Dawn
Our Correspondent

NEW DELHI: A sessions judge in Srinagar on Wednesday ordered the arrest of five army men, including the commanding officer of a unit, involved in an alleged fake encounter killing of a Kashmiri man in the Ganderbal area in 2006, reports said. The warrants were issued by the Principal District and Sessions Judge of Srinagar, Hasnain Masoodi, as the five accused army personnel had failed to be present at any hearing of the case so far. The court listed the next date of hearing as April 17. Eleven persons, including five army personnel, five policemen and a civilian were accused of conspiring to kill and killing Showkat Ahmad Kataria, a priest in a mosque at Zadibal, in a fake encounter on October 4, 2006. The accused include Col Vikram Singh of 13 Rashtriya Rifles, his second-in-command V. K. Sharma, Major Rishi, Junior Commissioned Officer Puran Singh and Naik Satya Lal. The then Superintendent of Police, H. S. Parihar, and his deputy Bahadur Ram are among five policemen who were arrested last year in connection with the killing of Kataria. Kataria, who hailed from Banihal in Ramban district, was allegedly picked up by security forces from the Zadibal area of the city on October 4, 2006. He was later killed and dubbed as a foreign militant. The case came to light after police investigations into the missing case of Abdul Rehman Paddar, a carpenter from the Kokernag area, revealed that he had been killed in a similar fake encounter and later described as a foreign militant, CNN-IBN said.