Two months after a teenager was shot dead here sparking widespread protests, the Jammu and Kashmir Police today charged BSF Commandant R. K. Birdhi and Constable Lakhvinder Kumar Singh with the murder.
In its charge sheet filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, the police charged the duo under the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) Section 302 which deals with murder, official sources said.
The two have also been charged under Section 120—B (criminal conspiracy), Section 201 (destruction of evidence) and Section 307 (attempt to murder).
The challan was presented before the CJM who read the presentation and accepted it and said it will be taken up on April 8 as judicial clerks, who were on strike, would have to check the documents and annexures.
Zahid Farooq was killed on February 5 and police investigations found the involvement of BSF personnel in the crime. The police examined all the call records around the area after the 16-year-old boy was shot dead and eyewitnesses told the police that the vehicle of the security y forces had an insignia of “hangul” (red deer).
The mark is used on the vehicles of BSF and the paramilitary force has a company headquarters nearby.
Police later asked BSF to provide the log details of the vehicle movements in and out of the company headquarters located near Nishat, the place where the incident took place.
After the probe into the case, BSF ordered a departmental inquiry on the basis of evidence handed over by the police and handed over constable Singh to police.
However, the constable spilled the beans and said he had done so at the orders of Birdhi who had even loaded the gun for him (the constable) prompting the police to conduct further investigations.
The statement of two constables was also annexed with the charge sheet which ran into several pages. The killing of Zahid had led to protests which could be brought under control only after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah ordered an inquiry and even took up the matter at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.
Two other constables recorded their confessional statement before a magistrate supporting Singh’s claim.
Birdhi, after a brief legal battle and jurisdictional issues between police and BSF, was arrested last month.
He had appealed for anticipatory bail before a sessions court in March but later withdrew it in less than 24 hours before presenting himself to the police.
He is the senior-most officer of BSF to be arrested in past 20 years for such an incident.
The BSF had initially denied involvement of the officer in the incident but later suspended him pending an internal inquiry being conducted by an officer of the rank of Inspector General, into his role.