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Army encounter in Jammu fake?

August 08, 2011 22:33 IST

The top Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant commander claimed to be have been killed by the army and police in a joint operation on Sunday in Jammu region turned out to be a mentally challenged civilian.

In a major embarrassment for the security forces, the slain person has been identified as a local Hindu villager, who was mentally challenged.

The security forces had on Sunday claimed to have gunned down a top commander of the LeT outfit along with another militant in Hari forests near Surankote. However, the security forces had recovered only one body from the encounter site and identified him as Abu Usman, divisional commander of the LeT outfit.

A senior police officer said, "A soldier of the Territorial Army and special police officer of the police had supplied wrong information to us, on the basis of which it was claimed that a top militant commander has been killed in the encounter."

He the TA jawan and the SPO have been detained and a case has been registered in the local police station in Surankote. This is a major gaffe coming close on the heels of the custodial death of a 27-year-old youth in north Kashmir Sopore town last week. 

The special investigating team has already arrested two policemen and produced them before a court in Sopore town which has remanded both to police custody for five days.

There have been repeated protests at many places in the Valley since 30th July over the youth's death in custody.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar