ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fake Encounters Exposed

It was reported recently that former senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Srinagar, Ashiq Bukhari, had made unequivocal and shocking allegations against the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah. First, that on hearing of the 2010 arrest of Muslim League leader Masarat Alam, Omar Abdullah asked on phone why he had been arrested and not “bumped off.” Second, that in addition to the official Rs 10 lakh given to Ashiq Bukhari, an additional Rs 15 lakh were given by Omar Abdullah “from his own pocket.” Third, that Omar Abdullah had paid him Rs 1.5 crore by cheque over four occasions for outstanding work.

The people of Jammu and Kashmir have for long claimed that extrajudicial executions, torture, disappearances and other crimes have been routinely used by the Indian state to control the population of Jammu and Kashmir. Fake encounters, as allegedly proposed by Omar Abdullah in the case of Masarat Alam, have been a regular tool of the State. Further, money—in the form of cash rewards for these crimes—has fuelled and sustained the work of various armed forces personnel, including police, in carrying out the necessary crimes. These allegations merely substantiate the pre-existing evidence on the numerous fake encounters and other crimes committed in Jammu and Kashmir, and reiterate the urgent need for an impartial and fair investigation to uncover the truth of past violations, including past attacks on political leaders such as on Sheikh Aziz, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Peoples League, in 2008.

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