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Army orders probe into fake killings

August 29, 2005 17:29 IST
Last Updated: August 29, 2005 20:00 IST

Army on Monday ordered a probe into the allegation that its personnel killed four natives of a border hamlet in Jammu in April 2004 in a fake encounter claiming them to be militants to get gallantry awards.

"We have ordered a probe into it. We will take it to logical conclusion," General Officer, Commanding in Chief Lieutenant General Hari Prasad said after the incident came to light following the receipt of an anonymous letter, purportedly written by a soldier, to the mother of a victim.

"Anyone found at fault will be seriously dealt with. We will do the inquiry as fast as possible, appropriate action would taken if we find anything against anybody," Gen Prasad said.

During the investigation it was found that one operation had taken place on the said date (April 20) and the said place (Lolab in Kashmir) and in this two militants were killed, he said.

"Our normal procedure is that we do not take cognisance of anonymous letters but since the matter has been of public importance, an investigation has been ordered," Gen Prasad said.

In the letter dated June 6, 2005, posted from New Delhi, the anonymous writer, claiming to be a soldier, had alleged that officers and troops of 18 Rashtriya Rifles had killed four persons-- Bhushan Kumar of Mangu Chack, Satpal of Chatha, Ram Lal of Lalyal villages in Jammu and Ashok Kumar of Pathankot in Punjab.

The letter alleged that major Vijay Singh Chahar, Naik Jai Singh and riflemen Dilip and Jasveer, promising employment to the four, brought them to a company of 18 Rastriya Rifles at Lolab valley in the north Kashmir, on April 13, 2004.

A week later, on April 20, all four were allegedly killed in a fake encounter near Dewar village of Lolab and weapons were planted on them to brand them as terrorists.

While soldiers buried two bodies, the other two defaced bodies were handed over to police, which later buried them, the letter written to the family of Ram Lal alleged.

The letter added that there was no personal enmity of the army personnel with the four porters, and the entire 'encounter' was staged only to get recognition for gallantry.

The plan was made and executed at the unit level. A Tata Sumo vehicle was also hired to carry out the action, it alleged.

The letter also mentioned the involvement of Major Vijay Singh and Col Rahul Pandey. Major Chahar led the encounter, it alleged, in which Naik Jai Singh, Riflemen Dilip, Jasveer, Adesh Kumar and Madroop Dhaka, Lance Naik Krishan, Anand Javed, Surinder of 21 J&K Rifle and Amar Singh participated.

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