Indian Army Captain killed three Kashmiri boys for prize money of $27,200

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Indian Army Captain killed three Kashmiri boys for prize money of $27,200

An army officer shot dead three unarmed civilians in Indian-administered Kashmir to claim a cash reward for killing separatists, police investigators say.

Captain Bhoopendra Singh — who was charged with murder and conspiracy in late December over the July killing of the three labourers — staged a gun battle hoping to be rewarded with Rs2 million ($27,200), according to part of a police charge sheet seen by AFP on Monday.

Singh and two civilian associates claimed the trio were armed, but a police investigation alleged he planted weapons on the men to make them look like militants.

Government forces are paid up to $27,000 by authorities for killing militants. The rewards are offered by the government, rather than military.

Rights activists warn the financial incentives have led to extra-judicial killings of innocent people. "Legal impunity... combined with the policy of cash rewards is likely to continue to lead to staged gun battles in which innocent civilians are killed," a leading human rights lawyer, Parvez Imroz, said.

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