70-yr-old beggar killed by army in fake encounter

Srinagar, June 20, 2011: In Srinagar, the Human Rights Commission has asked police to submit the investigation report about the killing of a 70-year-old beggar, Habib Ullah Khan, of Diver Vilgam, Lolab who was shot dead by Indian army personnel in a fake encounter in Kupwara on April 14, 2010.

Quoting police and CID reports, Rights Commission member, Javaid Kawoosa in his judgment has held that 70-year-old beggar hailing from Vilgam, Lolab in Kupwara district was killed by Indian army men on April 14, 2010 and later labeled as a foreign militant.

As per the police reports  submitted to the Commission, Indian Army  after killing  him had claimed to have recovered an AK rifle, one magazine, 67 rounds and Rs 1000 from the deceased beggar.

Army had claimed to have killed a foreign militant (beggar) during a joint operation with police, but the later denied being part of any such operation.

The killing evoked massive resentment from the population of Vilgam, Lolab and it was after their intense protests that body was exhumed and identified as that of a local elderly beggar.

He was earning his livelihood by begging and was not involved in militancy”, says the report submitted by Additional Director General of Police, (CID) to the Commission.

Besides, the Commission expressed its deep concern at the unaccounted arms and ammunition lying with the army and paramilitary personnel in the Valley. “It is a dangerous situation,” the human rights commission said while referring to Machil fake encounter where army had killed three porters.

The Human Rights Commission has asked the Director General of Police (DGP) to direct investigation into the killing of a senior citizen by army in a stage-managed encounter at Kupwara during the preceding year.