The Jammu and Kashmir Police have sought the Centre’s sanction to prosecute 23 jawans for their alleged involvement in the death of a 30-year-old college lecturer, who is said to have been beaten up in Army custody in August 2016, The Indian Express reported on Saturday. Prior sanction for arrest is necessary under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
The police said that the Army had cooperated in the inquiry so far and had allowed investigators to record the jawans’ statements. Awantipora Senior Superintendent of Police Mohammad Zahid said that a special investigation team completed the inquiry two weeks ago.
“We have not filed a chargesheet yet,” Zahid said. “We will require sanction for prosecution under AFSPA for that. I will not be able to talk about the outcome of our investigation.”
Shabir Ahmad Monga, the lecturer, died during a late-night raid by the Indian Army in Khrew area of Kashmir’s Pulwama district on August 18, 2016. Eighteen people were injured after locals resisted the raid. The residents alleged that at least 30 others were taken away by security personnel. Residents also alleged that Monga was tortured before his death.
In January, the government had informed the Rajya Sabha that it had received 50 requests for prosecution of security forces’ personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir government. It had denied sanction in 47 cases, while in three others, the matter was pending. The security forces have been charged with killing of civilians, custodial deaths, disappearances, rapes and molestation in these cases, The Indian Express said.