Court orders arrest of five army personnel in Kashmir

April 2nd, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by admin  

Srinagar, April 2 (IANS) A Srinagar court Wednesday ordered the arrest of five army personnel charged in the murder of an imam in their custody in 2006. Husnain Masoodi, the principal district and sessions judge of Srinagar, issued the non-bailable arrest warrants against Colonel Vikram Singh, the then commanding officer of 13 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), his deputy V.K. Sharma and three other army personnel.

Masoodi is hearing the infamous staged shootout case that rocked the Kashmir valley in February last year.

Showkat Ahmad Kataria, originally from the Banihal area of the Jammu region, was allegedly picked up from the Zadibal locality of Srinagar in 2006 where he served as the imam of a mosque.

Kataria was later labelled as a foreign guerrilla and killed in Ganderbal district of the Kashmir valley.

Five police personnel including H.S. Parihar, the then superintendent of police (Ganderbal), his deputy Bahadur Ram, assistant sub-inspector Farooq Guddu and two policemen besides the five army personnel of 13 RR have been charged for the custodial murder of Kataria.

One civilian is also being tried for the alleged murder in custody.

In his interim order in the case, the judge said the accused army personnel had failed to appear in the court in connection with the charges framed. Therefore it had become unavoidable to issue non-bailable arrest warrants against them.

The court has fixed April 17 as the next date of hearing.

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