Media reports about Amshipora encounter was driven by Rs 20 lakh reward malafide, not based on facts: Defence Spokesman
SRINAGAR: The army Monday termed the media reports that one of its captain involved in Amshipora, Shopian fake encounter case was rewarded Rs 20 lakh for “killing of militants ” as totally baseless stating that army has no system of cash rewards for its personnel for any acts in combat situations.
The army’s statement comes close on the heels of media reports that suggested that as per the police charge-sheet into Amshipora fake encounter case, an army captain, who was part of the operation, was rewarded Rs 20 lakh.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that there are media reports quoting that Amshipora (Shopian) encounter actions were driven by “Rs 20 lakh reward for killing of militants.”
“It is clarified that army has no system of cash awards for its personnel for any acts of combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty. The report is malafide (misleading) and not based on facts of the processes internal to army,” Colonel Kalia said.
On January 11, media reports suggested that an army captain, who was involved in the fake encounter in Shopian in July last year in which three youths were killed, had hatched a conspiracy along with two civilians with the motive for “grabbing” reward money of Rs 20 lakh and also fired at the victims even before his men could lay a cordon of the area. The media reports had quoted police charge-sheet.
Captain Bhoopinder Singh is currently in the custody of the Army, with informed sources saying he may face Court Martial proceeding in the weeks ahead.
The case relates to the July 18, 2020 encounter at Amshipura, Shopian in which three youths of Rajouri district — Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar — were killed and branded as militants.
The charge sheet submitted before the chief judicial magistrate of Shopian district also talked the role of the two civilians — Tabish Nazir and Bilal Ahmed Lone — in the case. Lone has since turned an approver and recorded his confession statement before a magistrate.
After reports emerged on social media that the three youths were not associated with militancy, the Army had ordered a Court of Inquiry which completed its probe earlier in September. It had found “prima facie” evidence that the troops had “exceeded” the powers granted under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). It is pertinent to mention that the bodies of slain youth were exhumed after their DNA samples matched with three families from Rajouri. The bodies of the slain were later taken to Rajouri for burial.