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‘No cash award system’, Indian army refutes media reports that Shopian encounter was staged for Rs 20 lakhs

The clarification from the Defence PRO, Srinagar came following several media reports claimed that the July 18 2020 Shopian encounter by Indian Army was fake and staged for 'reward money'.

The Indian Army Monday rebutted media reports that claimed that the encounter in Shopian region’s Amshipora village in July last year was driven by a ‘cash reward’ of Rs 20 lakhs. The Srinagar-based spokesperson for the Indian Army clarified that there was no system of cash rewards for its personnel for any acts in combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty.

The clarification from the Defence PRO, Srinagar came following several media reports claimed a Captain Bhupinder Singh of the Indian Army allegedly faked an encounter for money. Three terrorists were killed in the July 18 encounter in Shopian. As per media reports, Capt Bhupinder Singh was named as the accused in the police chargesheet filed in December 2020.

Report on the ‘staged Shopian encounter’ published by News 18 on January 10
Report on the ‘staged Shopian encounter’ published by Hindustan Times on January 11

The report by Hindutan Times quoted agency PTI as saying: “By staging the encounter, Capt Bhoopendra Singh of 62 RR and two other civilians also purposefully destroyed evidence of the real crime that they have committed and also have been purposefully projecting false information as part of a criminal conspiracy hatched between them with motive to grab prize money of ₹20 lakh,” news agency PTI quoted from the police charge sheet.

Report by Outlook dated January 10, 2021

These reports were widely shared on the microblogging site, with many rebuking the India Army for faking an encounter in lieu of a bribe.

Bollywood entertainer Swara Bhaskar was quick to join the rat race. She too shared the news published by the Hindustan Times to disgrace the India Army.

Swara Bhaskar’s Tweet

Following a flood of reports and social media posts spreading uninformed rumours on the Indian Army, the latter issued a statement junking the malicious and false news.

Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said in a brief statement: “There are media reports quoting that Amshipora encounter actions were driven by a Rs 20 lakh award for the killing of terrorists. It is clarified that the Indian Army has no system of cash awards for its personnel for any acts in combat situations or otherwise in the line of duty”. It said the reports are “not based on facts of the processes internal to Indian Army”.

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