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Zahid Farooq killing case: BSF court records statements of 4 witnesses
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SRINAGAR, Feb 2: On the second consecutive day of hearing, today the General Security Force Court (GSFC) recorded statements of four out five witnesses-all family members, in Zahid Farooq killing case.

Sources close to the family of Zahid said that only four witnesses, out of many others who were summoned by the BSF Court to depose before it recorded their statements.

R K Birdi, commandant of 68 battalion of BSF and Constable Lukhvinder Kumar have been accused of killing of the teenager and are presently under BSF custody. Both the accused have been charged of having opened unprovoked fire on the 16-yar-old boy leading to his death at Brein Nishat in Srinagar on February 5, 2010.

On February 27, 2012 the Supreme Court had allowed the BSF court to go on with its trial in the matter, but had barred it from passing any final orders till the outcome of a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the state government seeking trial if Birdi and Kumar through a civil court.

On January 29, the Apex Court reserved its order in state government’s SLP and asked the Union of India to file an affidavit in support of fair trial through court martial.

Both the state government and the counsel for Zahid’s family had argued in favour of trial of Birdi and Kumar through an ordinary criminal court. Advocate Vrinda Grover, the counsel for the victim’s family and Advocate Gaurav Pachnanda standing counsel for J&K in the Supreme Court pleaded that since the two accused BSF men were not on any active duty; no immunity should be available to them under BSF Act.

While reserving its order on the subject, the Bench later directed the Union of India to file an affidavit by or before coming Friday explaining the safeguards and the protocol to be followed in a court martial trial so that there is no miscarriage of justice, said the standing counsel representing J&K in the matter at the Apex Court. He added that the Bench of judges wanted to know from the Union of India that in case it is allowed to go for the court martial of the two accused BSF men, what safeguards would be for the witnesses to depose freely so that the public comes to know about the fairness of the trial.

On October 21, 2011 the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had dismissed a criminal revision petition filed by state government against a lower court order on shifting of custody of the two accused to BSF for conducting their trial in GSFC. Justice J P Singh had ordered that since Birdi and Kumar were on active duty when the incident took place, the BSF Court has the jurisdiction to conduct their trial.
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News Updated at : Saturday, February 2, 2013
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