Srinagar, July 3: A bank manager deposed before a court here in connection with a case involving killing of a cleric in a fake encounter allegedly by former SSP Ganderbal Hans Raj Pariharin in 2006.
Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar recorded the statement of the manager, Meraj-ud-din, who deposed that he witnessed issuing of the bank statement of accused Parihar and handover it to the investigating agency during the course of investigation.
According to SIT, which probed the killing, Kataria was picked up by a joint party of Special Operation Group of Ganderbal police and 13 Rashtriya Rifles. A resident of Doligam-Jabdi, Banihal, Kataria was later killed and dubbed as a Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad militant. His body was exhumed from Bazipora-Ajas in Bandipore on February 3, 2007, and his identity established after DNA tests.
According to Kashmir Glory, the SIT filed a chargesheet against 11 persons, including five policemen as many army men and a civilian, a cleric who wanted to leader prayers at Zadibal, for the cold blooded murder.
While the policemen and the civilian were arrested, the army refused to hand over its accused soldiers, questioning the civil administrations authority to probe its men under AFSPA, the draconian law affording blanket immunity to Indian armed forces in Kashmir.
In October 2009, the court had framed charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and abduction against the former SSP Hans Raj Parihar, former DSP Bahadur Ram, ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo and Constables Tariq Ahmad Lone and Manzoor Ahmad Malik and the civilian Mohammad Ashraf.
As per the SIT, Mohammad Ashraf, a resident of Choont Waliwar Ganderbal, who intended to lead the prayers at Zadibal, had hatched a conspiracy with Constable Tariq Ahmad Lone of Kupwara to eliminate Kataria.
Lone informed Gudoo, who was in charge SOG camp Ganderbal, about the plan and finally the preparations were finalized with SSP Parihar and DSP Bahadur Ram, the SIT said.
The cops contacted army’s Vikram Singh and others and plan was executed as SOG and the military kidnapped Kataria from the mosque on the fateful day and later killed him in fake encounter at Ajas Bandipora. Kataria was passed off Pakistani militant ‘Abu Zahid’.
The plan, according to SIT, was revealed before it by ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo during the investigation of the fake encounter killing of Padroo.