The Armed Forces Tribunal has suspended the life sentence of an Army captain who was found guilty in March of having killed three men in a “staged” encounter in Kashmir, PTI reported on Monday.
The tribunal also granted conditional bail to the officer identified as Bhoopendra Singh. It clarified, however, that it was not staying his conviction.
On July 18, 2020, security forces in Kashmir claimed to have killed three “unidentified hardcore terrorists” in a gunfight in Amshipora village of Kashmir’s Shopian district. The men, all related to one another, were later identified as 16-year-old Ibrar Ahmad, 20-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmad and 25-year-old Mohammed Ibrar.
Their families filed a missing persons complaint on August 10, 2022. They said that the men were labourers and not militants.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police then formed a Special Investigation Team, which filed a chargesheet accusing three persons, including Singh, of staging the gunfight.
The Army then set up a Court of Inquiry, which found preliminary evidence that security forces exceeded powers given to them under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. In March, an Army court found Singh guilty on six charges, including murder. It recommended that the officer be sentenced to life imprisonment, subject to confirmation by higher Army authorities, according to…