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Indian Police Charge Civilian And Army Officer For Killing Three Workers In Kashmir

Indian Police Charge Civilian And Army Officer For Killing Three Workers In Kashmir

Indian police in Kashmir brought charges against an army officer and a civilian for allegedly killing three workers and planting weapons to pose as militants, in a rare indictment of the military fighting an insurgency in the region.

The three workers died in July after what the Indian army had initially said was a shootout that began after militants fired at security forces in the village of Amshipora in southern Kashmir.

But the Kashmir police, which is under the direct control of the central government in New Delhi, said in a press release on Sunday that their investigation showed that the workers were "killed" by an army captain and two civilians, one of the which became state evidence.

"They placed weapons and illegally acquired material on their bodies after stripping them of their identities," police said, adding that the defendants had "deliberately and deliberately" chosen not to follow standard operating procedures.

The Indian military declined to comment on Sunday's police statement.

In an update last week, an army spokesman said it was moving forward with its own investigation, adding that the army was "committed to the ethical conduct of operations."

Human rights groups have long accused the Indian military of violating human rights in Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region that is fully claimed by India and Pakistan but partly ruled by both. The Indian army denies the charges.

Indian security forces killed more than 200 militants in Kashmir this year, officials said, many of them from groups allegedly backed by Pakistan. Islamabad denies having provided material support to militants in Kashmir.

A month after the Amshipora incident, the Kashmir police were informed of the disappearance of three workers who had left the neighboring Rajouri district in July.

Police said they had confirmed the identities of the victims by comparing their DNA with samples collected from their families in Rajouri.

On Saturday, the police filed a 1,400-page charge sheet against the army officer and one of the civilians.

A Kashmir court also asked army authorities whether the captain will be tried in a civil court or a military court martial, according to the police statement.

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