AFT suspending Army Captain’s sentence raises serious questions on judicial process: Mehbooba

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday said the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) suspending the sentence of Captain in a 2020 “fake encounter” case, raises serious questions on the “sanctity of the judicial process”.

Last week, the Armed Forces Tribunal suspended the life term awarded to Army Captain Bhoopendra Singh who was found guilty by a General Court Martial (GCM) of killing three men in a “staged” encounter in south Kashmir’s Amshipora village in Shopian district.

“Just spoke with the father of the innocent civilian killed in the fake Amshipora encounter . He is utterly devastated by the AFT’s decision to revoke the life sentence judgement given to the Captain , who himself admitted to the crime.

Raises serious questions on the sanctity of the judicial process,” Mufti posted on X.

In July 2020, Army said three Pakistani militants were killed at Amshipora in Shopian district. Days later, locals alleged that the three slain men killed were cousins from Rajouri district who were working as labourers. The DNA samples of three killed confirmed that the slain trio were from Rajouri. The three were identified as Imtiyaz Ahmed , 20; Abrar Ahmed, 25; and Mohammed Ibrar, 16.

Captain Bhoopendra Singh was subjected to the GCM proceedings after a Court of Inquiry and Summary of Evidence found that the powers vested under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) had been used in “excess”.

In September, the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha handed over appointment letters for government jobs to family members of three civilians killed in a fake encounter.

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