Thursday, February 16, 2012


Srinagar, Feb. 15 (Only Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir police have given a clean chit to eastern command chief Lt Gen. Bikram Singh, one of the frontrunners to succeed Gen. V.K. Singh as army chief, in an alleged fake encounter case.
The clean chit came even as the state’s high court today gave the defence ministry four weeks to file its response following a request from Singh’s counsel.
Lt Gen. Singh is facing allegations that the Rashtriya Rifles unit he headed in 2001 faked an encounter at Janglat Mandi in Anantnag district and killed a civilian, Abdullah Bhat, who was then passed off as a foreign militant.
The encounter had left a colonel, a soldier, two civilians and the alleged foreign militant, Mateen Chacha, dead. Singh was injured.
The allegation had surfaced last year after the officer emerged as the frontrunner for the post of army chief following the age controversy involving Gen. V.K. Singh.
If Gen. V.K. Singh chooses to stay in office till May 31, the date he is due to retire, Lt Gen. Bikram Singh would automatically be the senior-most army commander as the others in contention would have retired on reaching the age of 60 by then.(OK)


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