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Another armyman admits playing dead

June 08, 2004 19:33 IST

Corroborating statements given by his colleagues, an armyman on Tuesday told a military court, hearing allegations of fake encounters at the Line of Control in Siachen glacier, that he posed as a 'dead Pakistani soldier' on the orders of Major Surinder Singh.

"Major Surinder Singh asked the soldiers to construct a bunker wall and myself and Shyam Bahadur Thapa were ordered to show some movement behind this wall for video recording showing them as enemy movement," Rifleman Yamraj Gurung said in his deposition.

"Later another rifleman Bhuwan Thapa was asked to destroy the bunker wall and I was asked to pose as a dead soldier at the rubble of the wall," he said.

After enacting the fake encounter on August 24, the party again arrived at the same location and the same thing was repeated on September 21, Gurung said.

On the completion of operation on September 21, Major Singh informed the unit that he had been injured, the court was told.

During cross examination by Major Singh the witness replied: "I did not participate in construction of any
wall before the August 24 operation."

On being asked as to who fired the rocket launcher on the target on August 24, Gurung replied, "I don't remember."

"I cannot not recall who carried ammunition to the base point from where the target was fired upon and
destroyed," he said.

Gurung denied that he was called by Colonel K D Singh for questioning after the two incidents.

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The military court is recording evidence as a follow up of court of inquiry which found Col Singh and Maj R Lamba responsible for administrative lapses and recommended disciplinary action against Major Singh for making exaggerated claims.

Major Singh has, however, alleged that he had enacted fake encounters at the instance of his seniors.

Another officer Maj G S Dhillon, posted as second in command at the base camp, also deposed before the court today and said he had doubts about the video clips of the encounters sent by Maj Singh.

"Viewing the video Col K D Singh had even commented on Maj Singh's conduct saying 'yeh kya kar raha hai' (what is he doing)," Dhillon said.

He narrated as to how information about the fake encounter as well as about injury to Maj Singh was received at the base camp.

"On receiving the report of injury to Maj Singh a helicopter was sent to the forward post," Dhillon said.

Maj. Singh, he said, was transferred to Assam after the fake encounter incidents but he proceeded on leave.

"On his return from leave on November three last year Maj Singh gave me a letter addressed to Col Singh saying that I should hand over the letter to the colonel.

"However, I refused to take it asking him that since it was addressed to Col. Singh he should hand it over to the officer himself."

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