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Jammu and Kashmir: Law catches up with senior army officer after 14 years

Brigadier Kishore Malhotra, who was a young Major when he allegedly picked up Manzoor Ahmad Dar in January 2002, has been indicted by the special investigation team of police in the 14-year-old case.

Law seems to have finally caught up with a top army officer for alleged custodial disappearance of a chemist after Jammu and Kashmir government submitted its report in the state high court indicting the officer for alleged abduction and murder.Brigadier Kishore Malhotra, who was a young Major when he allegedly picked up Manzoor Ahmad Dar in January 2002, has been indicted by the special investigation team of police in the 14-year-old case.”Station house officer, police station Saddar, Srinagar present in person states that the investigation in case FIR No. 33/2002 under section 364, 302 RPC stands proved against Brigadier Kishore Malhotra and papers have been submitted for record of sanction for prosecution of the accused,” said Justice Hasnain Masoodi of the Jammu and Kashmir high court, in his one page order.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The case dates back to 2002, when Dar was picked up allegedly by the troops of 35 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) from his home in Rawalpora Srinagar. During the course of investigation, Brigadier Kishore Malhotra, who was then a major and company commander in 35 RR, was questioned by the special investigation team for his alleged role.”Since the time offence under section 364 was established against the accused Kishore Malhotra and efforts were put to trace out the abducted person but no clue could be struck out. The custodial disappearance has occurred nearly 14 years ago which clearly indicates that the disappeared person could have died in custody (of 35 RR) and according Section 302 RPC is invoked,” said the status report submitted by additional advocate general of Jammu and Kashmir government in the high court.The status report maintained that the accused during sustained questioning has denied any involvement in the custodial disappearance case.”Upon the direction of honourable apex court and J&K high court the accused Major Kishore Malhotra now brigadier appeared before SIT on 6, 7,8,9 October 2015 who was interrogated. During custodial questioning the accused did not admit the custody of victim and nor lead to recovery of the body which clearly indicates that the accused could have disposed off the body and also offense 201 RPC is invoked (sic),” said the report.