After 12 years, cops crack Udhampur village massacre

NBAT

Mohammad Din did not provide any information about them despite repeated requests by the security forces personnel and police who launched searches in the area.

The same evening, the militants reached Chakka Galiote (Panchari) and posing as security personnel from the hydel project called the villagers, including the VDC members, for

recruitment.

They asked the VDC members to deposit their weapons before undergoing a physical test and stand in a queue along with others. The militants then shot them dead and escaped.

THE CLUE

The clue came to light during the investigation into a double murder case a local trader Ashok Khajuria and his wife Parmila Devi were killed at Panchari in 2008.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Udhampur, Benam Tosh, who was assigned investigations in the double murder, following directions from the high court, noticed that the deceased had made an incomplete last entry in his register. The entry mentioned one Abdul Latif.

From the entry in the register and material seized from the spot, it appeared that the killers had knocked at Khajuria's door saying that Abdul Latif's mother had died and they wanted a piece of cloth and other material required for her burial.

While he was writing Abdul Latif's name in his register to record goods sent to his house on credit, the militants killed him. Hence, the entry remained incomplete.

THE CONFESSION

Benam Tosh called all local residents having 'Abdul Latif' name. During questioning, Abdul Latif, a surrendered militant, broke down confessing his involvement in the massacre of seven villagers 12 years ago.

Latif, however, denied his involvement in the murder of Khajuria and his wife.

Significantly, the police had earlier, too, questioned local people named Abdul Latif, but let them go home after finding no evidence against them.

... contd.

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