JEHANGIR ALI | 6 FEBRUARY, 2019

Army Investigates Rifleman Aurangzeb’s Murder Amidst Allegations of Torture

Mehbooba Mufti alleges man detained in probe has gone “missing”


SRINAGAR: The Army is questioning three of its men in connection with the case of rifleman Aurangzeb whose sensational abduction and killing last year sparked outrage across the country.

Sources said three Army men of 44 Rashtriya Rifles identified as Abid Wani, Tajamul Ahmad and Adil Wani, all residents of the volatile south Kashmir, have been detained for questioning in connection with Aurangzeb’s killing.

“They are facing inquiry for passing information about Aurangzeb to militants. Their involvement in the case came up while analysing phone call records before and after the killing,” sources said.

“We are investigating the case. Once the inquiry is complete, we will share details with media,” Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Rajesh Kalia said.

Rifleman Aurangzeb, a resident of Poonch, had left his 44 RR unit based in south Kashmir for vacation in June last year and, according to sources, a car was randomly stopped by the Army to drop him at a bus stand.

However, the Army man, according to sources, was abducted by the men in the car, as part of their plan, and handed over to militants. His bullet riddled body was discovered in Gusoo village of Pulwama on June 15 last year.

Aurangzeb, who was involved in the operation that led to the killing of popular Hizb commander Sameer Tiger, was conferred the Shaurya Chakra posthumously on Independence Day last year.

Meanwhile, the brother of one of the detained army man was called up for questioning by the Army unit on Monday where he was allegedly tortured and later “dumped outside the camp” in an unconscious state. He was spotted by locals who took him to a nearby hospital.

“They (Army soldiers) asked me to join militants or else be prepared to die in an encounter. I was tied to a walnut tree and the Army men took turns to beat me up. The torture lasted for two to three hours after which I fell unconscious,” Tawseef Ahmad, 27, brother of accused Army soldier Abid Wani, said.

Tawseef was first admitted to Pulwama district hospital on Monday from where he was referred to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital with multiple bruises, “His condition is out of danger now,” doctors said.

Former CM Mehbooba Mufti visited the injured youth on Tuesday and demanded strict punishment for the Army men involved in assaulting the youth. She claimed that Tawseef’s brother, who has been detained in Aurangzeb’s case, is missing since July.

“If this is how they treat family members of an Army man, one can only imagine the agony of ordinary Kashmiris. I hope the governor and the (XV) Corps commander take note of the torture of an innocent youth and act against the culprits,” she said.
 

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