Bandipora, July, 29: Police on Sunday said that two persons have been arrested in connection with the killing of Hilal Ahmed Dar, who was shot dead by Army here in north Kashmir on Tuesday night.
A police officer told Greater Kashmir the prima facie evidence reveals that it was a “planned killing” and the matter is being investigated minutely. “We have arrested two persons Muhammad Ramzan Bhat alias Rameez and Nazir Ahmed Bhat. They along with an Army officer of 27-RR are being interrogated,” the officer added.
Initial Investigation, he said, has revealed that an Army informer Muhammad Ramzan Bhat of Aloosa got Hilal killed allegedly for monetary benefits and Police have recovered a weapon from the house of the another arrested person Nazir Ahmed.
“The main accused Muhammad Ramzan Bhat, an ex-militant turned army informer, struck a deal with 27-RR that he will help them in trapping a militant allegedly in exchange for money. After getting confirmation from the Army, he started working on the plan. He chose Hilal Ahmed Dar, an innocent poor tall boy with long hair and beard, who frequently wore a turban and a Khan dress,” the officer said.
Bhat, according to the officer, had hatched the plan of “staged encounter,” four months ago after seeing Hilal’s attire.
While giving the details, the officer said that during interrogation Bhat revealed that it took four months for him to motivate Hilal. “I met him on many occasions and told him that I have a close affiliation with militants and he should meet them. It took me four months to convince him,” the officer quoted Bhat as having revealed during interrogation.
“On July 24 (Tuesday) Bhat called Hilal and told him that a meeting has been fixed during night and he should come alone. On the same evening Bhat informed 27-RR camp that militants will come to Ahstangoo from Aloosa and they can lay an ambush,” he said.
“The last call received by the deceased was made by Bhat. He wanted to ensure that he is coming,” the officer added.
The officer said Bhat revealed that he asked Hilal to reach Ashtangoo Halmathpora. However, Hilal asked his close friend Nazir Ahmed to accompany him. “Bhat gave two rusted weapons to Hilal and his friend (Nazir) and they left for Ahstangoo. As soon as the trio reached there, Hilal inquired from Bhat where the militants are. Bhat asked him to move forward and meet them. As he walked a few steps soldiers of 27- RR, who had laid an ambush, opened fire, killing Hilal on the spot. Bhat knew from where the shots would hit Hilal as he fled from the spot. Nazir also managed to escape,” the police officer added.
“The next day Bhat went to 27-RR camp to seek shelter. However, Army refused to allow him inside and he was left with no other choice than to surrender before the Police,” he said.
The investigation team camped at Bandipora is headed by the Deputy Inspector General Rajesh Kumar.
“We are investigating from where Bhat got the weapons and how he hatched the plan of staged encounter. Bhat had hatched a plan to kill both Hilal and Nazir as he knew it very well that Hilal won’t come alone, but Nazir survived,” the officer added.
On Wednesday (July 25) morning, Army claimed to have killed an unidentified militant during an ambush. Later police recovered an identity card from the pocket of the deceased and informed the locals who identified the body as of Hilal Ahmed Dar, 25, of Lahipora Aloosa.
As soon as the word about the incident spread in the area locals took to the streets and staged protests. Residents of Ashtangoo dispelled Army’s claim that Hial was killed in an encounter. They had alleged that the deceased was tortured to death.
Hilal’s mother, Fatima, told Greater Kashmir that two persons were inquiring about Hilal a day before his killing. However, Hilal had told his parents that those might be the boys of Tabligie Jammat.
“My son’s killing is a murder in cold blood and killers should be punished,” said Fatima.
Who gave guns?
A gun recovered from the site of encounter was given to the former militant turned army informer, and the main accused, Muhammad Ramzan Bhat, alias Rameez, allegedly by the Army, sources told Greater Kashmir on Sunday.
“Army had given two guns to Bhat four months ago. One was found near Hilal’s body while another was recovered from Nazir’s house,” they said. “It is not clear which unit of the Army gave guns to Bhat.”
Sources said the call details analysis of Bhat has revealed that he was in touch with Hilal, Nazir and local Army unit of 27- RR. “It has been found that the accused Bhat had made last call to Army unit, after calling Hilal,” they added.