J&K HC dismisses petition seeking probe into alleged fake encounters

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court (HC) has dismissed a petition seeking a probe into the killing of five militants in the frontier district of Kupwara and two others in summer capital Srinagar in 2016 in alleged fake encounters.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, a divisional bench of the HC comprising Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjeev Kumar, on Wednesday said, “We are of the considered view that this is not a case where this Court would need to take any action in exercise of its inherent powers for the State and its functionaries have already taken the required steps envisaged by law”.
The police authorities and the Union of India filed their respective objections to the petition and maintained that both the encounters were genuine in which seven militants were killed.
While dismissing the petition, the bench on Wednesday observed that that there was no reason for it to suspect that the police would not do what was required to be done by it.
The court further said that even if, for the sake of argument, a probe is ordered, any report that may ultimately be made by such authority would not be more than a recommendation. And such authority, for formulation of such recommendation, would again be dependent upon the very same police agency, the court added.
The Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) had filed a petition in the HC seeking probe to be monitored by senior officer into the alleged fake encounters at Chak Dragmulla in Kupwara on May 21, 2016 and at Sarai Bala, Srinagar on May 23, 2016.
The KHCBA body in the petition had referred to various newspaper reports and said five militants were killed and three Army men injured in a nine-hour-long encounter in Chak Dragmulla with government forces blowing up the house where they claimed the militants were hiding. However, the petitioner said the local residents had delayed the burial of the militants and kept the bodies at a seminary for the night, contesting the security forces claim that the five militants were killed in a gunfight and, instead, averred that the encounter was a fake and staged one.
About killing of two militants at Sarai Bala KHCBA quoting the landlady in whose house the duo was residing on rent, had contested the claim of the police by stating that “they were not militants but students who could speak in Kashmiri and only carried books and clothes with them.” (UNI)