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Army completes Summary of Evidence in Shopian encounter; court martial of its 2 men possible

Srinagar, Dec 24: The Army has completed the Summary of Evidence against two of its men involved in July’s Amshipura encounter in South Kashmir’s Shopian district in which three civilians were killed and a possible court martial could take place after completion of formalities, officials said.

General Officer in Command of the strategically located XV Corps Lt Gen B S Raju said the Summary of Evidence has been completed but refused to give away any details of the outcome.

“Yes, the Summary of Evidence has been completed and the army will take next course of action as per the law,” Lt Raju told PTI here.

The army had ordered a Court of Inquiry earlier this year after reports appeared on social media that three youths, labelled as terrorists, had been gunned down by its personnel.

The Court of Inquiry, which completed its probe earlier in September, had found “prima facie” evidence that troops had “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the July 18 encounter in which three men were killed. Following this, the army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.

Officials in know of the development said the two army personnel may face court martial proceedings for violating the powers vested under the AFSPA, 1990 and not following the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court.

The officials said the accused personnel may face serious charges under the law.

They also said the role of the three civilians as well as the person who had allegedly led the army to the youths in Amshipura in Shopian needs to be thoroughly examined by the police.

The three civilians killed in Amshipura were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar, hailing from Rajouri district. Their identities were subsequently confirmed through a DNA test. The bodies were handed over to their families in Baramulla in October.
The role and antecedents of these three youths are also being investigated due to lack of clarity on their intent and actions upon coming to Shopian.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had visited the families of the three Rajouri youths and expressed condolences. He had also assured the families that the UT government will extend full support to them and ensure that justice is done in the case.

He had also conveyed the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the government stands with the aggrieved families, and they will be taken care of with all support from the government.

The officials said the Army has been maintaining high standards of transparency and punishing officials whenever rules are violated.(PTI)

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State

Pregnant woman killed, 2 injured as srinagar-bound ambulance meets with an accident in Ramban

(Asian News Hub) – An expecting woman got killed and two other persons received injuries after an ambulance they were on board met with an accident in Batote in Ramban district on Saturday afternoon.

Reports said that the ambulance driver purportedly lost control over the vehicle, enroute to SKIMS Srinagar from Doda. The vehicle rolled down a deep gorge, resulting in on spot death of a pregnant woman besides injuries to two other persons – said to attendants of the (now deceased) woman.

The identification of deceased woman or injured duo could not be immediately known.

GNS

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National

BSF, Pak Rangers resolve to maintain peace on border in first meeting after Ceasefire

Meeting held on Islamabad’s request, lodged strong protest over Drone activities: BSF

(Asian News Hub) – Border guards of India and Pakistan on Saturday resolved to remain committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border in Jammu.

Border Security Forces (BSF) said that Sector Command level meeting, first after New Delhi and Islamabad decided on steadfast holding of ceasefire, was held on request of Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area of the Jammu.

The BSF delegation was led by Surjit Singh, DIG, Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers delegation was led by Brig Murad Hussain, sector commander Pakistan Rangers, Sialkot Sector , S P S Sandhu (DIG), a spokesman of the BSF, said in a statement cited by GNS.

“It was the first Sector Commander level meeting between two border guarding Forces, after declaration of cease fire agreement by DGMOs.”

“During meeting, Commanders of both the border guarding Forces, discussed various issues with main emphasis by BSF delegation on Pak Drone activities, (militant) activities by Pakistan from across the border, digging of tunnels by Pakistan and other issues related to Border management,” the spokesman said, adding, “A very strong protest was lodged by BSF delegates regarding drone activities by Pakistan authorities in Jammu area.”

The spokesman said both the forces “decided to re-energize instant communication between field Commanders, whenever required, to resolve the ops matters.”

“ Meeting was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and both side agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the earlier DG level talks and committed to each other to maintain peace and harmony at International Border,” he added.

GNS

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State

Arms licence racket; Searches carried out at 40 location in J-K, Delhi: CBI

(Asian News Hub) – The Central Bureau of Investigation on Saturday said that it conducted raids at around 40 locations including official and residential premises of certain IAS and KAS officers in a case related to Arms license racket in Jammu and Kashmir.

CBI today conducted searches at around 40 locations including Jammu, Srinagar, Udhampur, Rajouri, Anantnag, Baramulla, Delhi (at the official and residential premises of certain then public servants, including IAS, KAS officers, then DM, then ADM etc), around 20 gun houses, dealers in an on-going investigation of a case related to Arms licence racket.

CBI had registered two cases on the request of Jammu and Kashmir government and further notification from Government of India, and took over the investigation of FIR No. 18 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 earlier registered at Police Station Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK) and FIR No. 11 of 2018 dated 17.05.2018 of Police Station Vigilance Organisation Jammu (VOJ) on the allegations of bulk issuance of arms licenses in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir during the period 2012 to 2016.

CBI also collected documents pertaining to the issuance of said armed licences allegedly spread over 22 districts of J&K.

During investigation and scrutiny of documents, the role of certain gun dealers was found in connivance with the public servants i.e. the then DM and ADM of concerned District had allegedly issued such illegal arms licenses to the ineligible persons.

It was also alleged that the persons who got these licenses were not residents of the places from where the said arms licenses were issued.

Further investigation is going on.

Statement

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