Will Army Court Martial Captain who allegedly took money to stage Shopian ‘encounter’?

Police charge sheet states Capt Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR took reward money to stage an encounter

fake encounter
The three youth who were killed in the fake encounter by army personnel. (Image: India Today)

Captain Bhoopinder Singh of 62 RR has been named as the man involved in the alleged fake encounter at Amshipora. Three young men were killed in Shopian in July 2020, and Singh has been named in the case as allegedly plotting with two civilians to grab ‘reward money of Rs 20 lakh’.

According to a report in the Tribune, the police charge sheet states that Singh had also fired at the victims even before his men could cordon the area. Singh is now in the Army’s custody, and the Tribune report adds that he may face Court Martial proceedings.

The three young men from Rajouri district, later identified as Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar, had been killed at Amshipora and branded as terrorists in July 18, 2020. The killings were termed as an ‘encounter’, however further investigations revealed the truth of it being staged and that the victims were not terrorists. 

Soon, after news of a “cash reward” as motive behind the alleged staged encounter spread, the Indian Army on Monday January 11, rebutted media reports. According to a report in The Print, the Srinagar-based spokesperson for the Indian Army said the forces have no system of cash awards for its personnel for any acts in combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty. The Army is reported to have clarified that Indian Army has no system of cash awards for its personnel for any acts in combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty. The report is malafide (misleading) and not based on facts of the processes internal to Indian Army,” said the army official in a statement, quoted by The Print.

However, as Lt Gen H S Panag(R) shared on Tritter, “cash award to informers can be shared in rogue actions with bulk going to the planner.In addn to State monetary awards the Army also pays money to informers.”



According to news reports the police charge sheet submitted before the chief judicial magistrate has also detailed the role of Tabish Nazir, a resident of Chowgam, and Bilal Ahmed Lone, a resident of Arabal Nikas, Pulwama, the two civilians named in the case.  Lone has since turned an approver and recorded his confession statement before a magistrate, reported Tribune.

Singh’s alleged role in the staged encounter is shocking, the police has stated, “By staging the encounter, Capt Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR and two other civilians also purposefully destroyed evidence of the real crime that they have committed and also have been purposefully projecting false information as part of a criminal conspiracy hatched between them with motive to grab prize money of ₹20 lakh”, reported various news outlets.



According to The Hindustan Times, the SP Shopian, Amritpal Singh, said, “The charge sheet is court property now. It is up to them whether they want to share it or not”. The Police have filed a 1,400-page charge sheet before the court. HT reported that the charge sheet has statements of four army personnel — Subedar Garu Ram, Lance Naik Ravi Kumar, Sepoys Ashwini Kumar and Yougesh — who were all a part of Capt Singh’s team at the time of the incident and were asked to cordon off the area from different directions. 

The charge sheet is quoted as stating, “…as they were approaching the spot on foot after disembarking from the vehicle they heard a few bursts of live ammunition even before they had laid the cordon”. Capt Singh told them that he had to fire as the “hiding militants were trying to escape”. The charge sheet has accused Singh of furnishing “false information to mislead the senior officer and for getting” an FIR lodged to “tailor fit his motive of grabbing prize money in furtherance of criminal conspiracy”.

Another police statement dated December 27 after the filing of the charge sheet said the investigation revealed the conspiracy was hatched to abduct the victims and stage the encounter. The charge sheet was filed after the army said it had completed its summary of evidence against its men. The army itself had eventually  admitted that the powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded by its men.



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