Kin of slain youth dispute encounter claim of police

The ballistics report of the State Forensic Science Laboratory regarding the death of C.P. Jaleel, a suspected Maoist, has disproven the encounter claim of the police, his family claimed on Monday.

Jaleel, 26, was shot dead in a police encounter at a resort at Vythiri in Wayanad district on March 6 last year. The police had claimed that Thunderbolt commandos fired at him while he was extorting money from the resort staff. They also claimed that the firing was in self-defence.

According to the ballistics report, submitted to the district and sessions court here, all cartridges used for firing were from service rifles and not from a smooth-bore breech loading (SBBL) gun allegedly found on the body of Jaleel, C.P. Rasheed, Jaleel’s brother told The Hindu.

The report says that signs of firing could not be detected in the gun barrel. The police had claimed that commandos killed him in retaliatory fire but the report findings pointed to a fake encounter, Mr.Rasheed said.

Gunshot residues could not be detected in the material objects such as the swabs collected from Jaleel’s hands and a wall near the north-western corner of the resort, he said. If Jaleel had shot at the commandos first as per the police report, the residues must be in his hands, Mr.Rasheed said.

As per a police report, the Station House officer of the Vythiri police station and six commandos had participated in the operation but 14 rifles were produced for the ballistics test. Circumstantial evidence also showed that a firefight had never occurred at the place and his brother was shot at sight, he claimed.

A video clip of the encounter submitted by the police in the district court indicated that the police had shot Jaleel dead while he was trying to escape from the resort, he added. However, the police were yet to conduct any inquiry in this regard, he said.

According to a recent Supreme Court decree, details of the magisterial inquiry into a fake encounter should be given to the Chief Magistrate Court or District Court but it had not been done in this case, he said.

The family of Jaleel sought a probe by a government agency into what it termed a fake encounter in the wake of the ballistics report.

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