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Police issue statement about the assassination case of Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq

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KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT

Police claimed to have solved the assassination case of Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday ADGP R K Swain said that out of 4 accused involved in the assassination of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, two were killed in the encounters and two others on the run were arrested and handed over to CBI who will now face trial.

He identified the two arrested accused as Javaid Ahmed Bhat alias late Habibullah, a resident of Solina, presently living at Azad Basti Natipora and Zahoor Ahmed Bhat son of Muhammad Ramzan, of Dandarkha Batamaloo.

“Four persons were involved in the killing. All the four were run. Two accused Abdullah Bangroo and Rehman Shigan were killed in the encounter. The two other accused Javaid and Zahoor went to Pakistan and then Nepal and were finally arrested and handed over to CBI and now they will face the trial,” he said adding that Zahoor was the main accused.

He said one accused Ayoub Dar has been already facing conviction in this case registered at Police Station Nigeen and then the same case was handed over to CBI. “His conviction was challenged in the Supreme Court but the court upheld the conviction.”

Meanwhile, police have issued a detailed press statement claiming that SIA of J&K Police has tracked & arrested two absconding militants involved in killing of Mirwaiz Farooq and both the militants have been handed over to CBI to face trial.
Police said that 5 militants were involved in the killing.  Abdullah Bangroo & Rehman Shigan had got killed in encounters and couldn’t face trial. Ayub Dar underwent trial and convicted for life, currently serving sentence in Srinagar central jail. Javaid Bhat & Zahoor Bhat were absconding and hence escaped trial and they both have been apprehended. The duo had gone underground and during all these years were variously hiding in Nepal and Pakistan among other places before surreptitiously returning back to Kashmir a few years ago. Maintaining a low profile, changing addresses and shifting residences, they avoided the gaze of law enforcement agencies.

Accused in CBI case RC0501990S008 (pertaining to killing of Mirwaiz Farooq) they are now liable to immediately face trial in a designated TADA court in Delhi which has already completed the trial in respect of one of the five accused namely Ayub Dar code Ishfaq son of Late Abdul Ahad Dar of Rawalpora of Srinagar who has been convicted and serving a life sentence. Two other absconding accused found guilty in the killing of Mirwaiz, Abdullah Bangroo and Abdul Rehman Shigan, got killed in encounters with security forces in the 1990s.

According to police statement, on 21 May 1990, Mirwaiz Farooq, the head priest of Kashmir was killed by militants of Hizbul Mujahideen accusing him of being a ‘peacenik’ and an ‘Indian agent’.

Case FIR No 61/1990 came to be registered in Police Station Nageen, Srinagar to investigate the crime. Thereafter the government of the day transferred the investigation to CBI on 11 June 1990.

After a long and arduous legal process of investigation and prosecution, the designated TADA court, in 2009, convicted the only arrested accused Ayub Dar for life. The remaining four remained on run. While two (Abdullah Bangroo & Rehman Shigan) died in encounters, Javaid Bhat and Ayub Bhat managed to evade arrest.

Ayub Dar, the convicted militant and one of the killers appealed against his conviction, which however, was upheld by the Division Bench of Supreme Court in Criminal Appeal No.535 of 2009 on 21 July 2010.

Before killing Mirwaiz, all the five HM militants had gone to Pakistan for militant training in 1990. Back in Srinagar, Abdullah Bangroo received instructions in April 1990 from his ISI handler in Pakistan to eliminate Mirwaiz.

 Paraphrased excerpts from Supreme Court order:

In the year 1990 itself, in the month of April, accused Abdullah Bangroo, Javed Ahmed Bhat alias  Ajmal Khan  and Mohd. Ayub Dar alias Ishfaq, who belongs to Hizbul Mujahideen, entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq. Accused Abdulla Bangroo, who was then heading Hizbul Mujahideen, instructed Javed Ahmed Bhat alias Ajmal Khan and Mohd. Ayub Dar alias Ishfaq to plan elimination of Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq. Javed Ahmed Bhat alias  Ajmal Khan was then working as an Area Commander of Hizbul-Mujahideen in the downtown area of Srinagar; whereas the Javed was working as a Group Commander in that very area. Later on, Abdul Rehman Shigan alias Inayat and Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal also joined the conspiracy. It came out in the investigation that, in the second week of May, 1990, under the instructions of Javed Ahmed Bhat alias Ajmal Khan, Mohd. Ayub Dar alias Ishfaq  and Abdul Rehman Shigan alias  Inayat had visited the residence of Moulvi Farooq at Nageen, Srinagar and had requested him for financial help to their militant organization i.e. Hizbul Mujahideen. Moulvi Farooq had agreed to help them and had asked them to meet after 2/3 days during the morning hours. Thereafter, two accused surveyed the area as per their plan and informed the details to Javed Ahmed Bhat alias  Ajmal Khan. It was on 21.05.1990 that the three accused namely Mohd Ayub Dar alias  Ishfaq , Abdul Rehman Shingan alias Inayat and Zahoor Ahmed alias  Bilal alias  Jana armed with loaded pistol visited the `Mirwaiz Manzil’ at Nageen. Accused Javed Ahmed Bhat alias  Bilal had instructed the appellant that, out of the three accused persons, Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal would fire on Moulvi Farooq and the remaining two accused persons namely Ayub Dar and Abdul Rehman Shingan were to provide cover to Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal.

As per the plan, they all reached the gate of Mirwaiz Manzil and met Maqbool Shah, the gate-keeper and informed him that they wanted to meet Moulvi Farooq. Maqbool Shah then asked Gulam Qadir Sofi, the gardener, to take them to the Personal Assistant as he himself was going to the market.

Accordingly, the gardener – Ghulam Qadir Sofi took the three to the Personal Assistant namely Saidur Rehman , who asked them about their names and one of them disclosed his fake name as Gulzar Farooq R/o. Batmaloo. That name was written by the Personal Assistant on a slip of paper and the said slip was sent inside the room of Moulvi Farooq through the gardener Ghulam Qadir Sofi. After sometime, Moulvi Farooq called the three accused inside the Office, on which Zahoor Ahmed alias Bilal entered the room of Moulvi Farooq and the remaining two accused persons including  Javed Bhat took position in the PA’s room. On entering the room of Moulvi Farooq, Zahoor Ahmed alias  Bilal fired several rounds on Moulvi Farooq from his pistol and immediately, accused Inayat also fired from his pistol in the air while coming out of PA’s room, which hit the outside wall of the Office. On hearing the sound of firing, the gardener came inside the Office and tried to catch hold of Ishfaq, who was trying to escape.

However, all the accused persons escaped giving a push to the Gardener Ghulam Qadir Sofi. Accused Bilal also tried to run away, but he was caught by Ghulam Qadir Sofi. There was a scuffle between the two, in which Bilal sustained an injury below his right eye. Later, after firing one round from his pistol, Bilal also managed to escape. The accused persons ran towards Kashmir University, who were followed by Ghulam Qadir Sofi upto the main road and near the University Gate, the assailants ran towards Soura through the University compound and reached Chatargam in the afternoon of 21.05.1990. They then reported killing of Moulvi Farooq to Abdulla Bangroo. All the three accused persons were directed by Abdullah Bangroo, to go underground for sometime.

During trail running for several years, it could be established that the militant who pulled the trigger on Mirwaiz Farooq on the fateful day on the directions of then HM commander Abdullah Bangroo was Zahoor Bhat who ironically succeeded in evading arrest by going into hiding.

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