Witness indisposed, court adjourns hearing

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 2/22/2014 1:51:02 PM

SRINAGAR, Feb 21: A city court today adjourned hearing in Showkat Kataria fake encounter case as the prosecution could not produce a witness who is said to be indisposed.
Last year on October 12, the Principal District and Session’s judge had framed charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and abduction against former SSP Ganderbal Hans Raj Parihar, five other policemen and a civilian in connection with the 2006 fake encounter killing of Banihal resident Showkat Ahmad Kataria.
The charges under RPC sections of 302 (murder), 364 (abduction) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) have been framed against the accused police officer and his subordinates by Mohammad Shafi Khan the Principal and Sessions Judge Srinagar.
On April 2007, the police had filed charge sheet against Parihar, his deputy Bahadur Ram; ASI Farooq Ahmad Gudoo; Constable Tariq Ahmad Lone; Constable Manzoor Ahmad Malik and civilian Mohammad Ashraf.
Besides cops and the civilian, the police had also charge sheeted Col. Vikram Singh, Major Rishi Khanna, VK. Sharma, Puran Singh and Satpal Singh of 13 Rashtriya Rifles of Army. On April 2, 2008 the principle district and session's court Srinagar had issued non bail able arrest warrants against five army officers accused in Kataria fake encounter case. The court had already dismissed the application filed by the army in which it had prayed through their counsel Advocate Anil Bhan to keep the trial pending in view of its similarity with the Pathribal fake encounter case.
Kataria, a cleric by profession and a resident of Banihal in Jammu region, according to Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police was picked up by SOG and Army and subsequently killed in a ‘stage-managed encounter’ in October 2006.
Kataria, 25, son of Noor Alam Kataria, 75, a resident of Doligam-Jabdi-Banihall went missing on October 4, 2006 at around 10:00 pm from Alamgari Bazaar, where he would lead the prayers at in Ibrahim Mosque.
He was killed in a fake encounter by SOG which later branded him as Abu Zahid of Karachi. His body was exhumed from Bazipora-Ajas-Bandipore on February 3. The Central Forensic Laboratory report stated that the exhumed body was not that of any foreign militant but of Kataria. The identification of exhumed body was established after DNA tests.
As per SIT, Mohammad Ashraf a resident of Choontwali-War Ganderbal who intended to lead the prayers replacing Kataria had hatched a conspiracy with Constable Tariq Ahmad Lone of Kupwara to eliminate Kataria. Lone informed Gudoo, who was incharge SOG camp Ganderbal, about the plan and finally the preparations were finalised 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 soldiers kidnapped Kataria from the mosque on the fateful day and later killed him in fake encounter at Ajas, Bandipora. Kataria was passed off a Pakistan 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 another victim Abdul Rehman Padroo, a carpenter from Kokernag.



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