Two officers, four others are facing court-martial

Srinagar : The Army on Wednesday ordered court martial proceedings against six of its men, including two officers, for their alleged involvement in the 2010 Machchil fake encounter case that had triggered a two month-long agitation in the Kashmir Valley.

Two officers, four others are facing court-martial

The court martial proceedings have been initiated against the accused personnel, an Army spokesperson said.

Those who will face proceedings include Col D K Pathania, Commanding Officer (CO) of 4 Rajput Regiment, Major Upinder and four of his men. On April 30, 2010, the Army had claimed that they had killed three infiltrators in the Machchil sector along the Line of Control. It had later claimed that they were Pakistani terrorists. However, they were identified as Mohamad Shafi, Shehzad Ahmed and Riyaz Ahmed, all residents of Nadihal in Baramulla district. They were allegedly lured to a border area and shot dead.

Following complaints from relatives of the victims, a Territorial Army jawan and two others were arrested by the police but the incident led to unrest in the entire Valley and widespread demonstrations in which 123 people were killed.

An official spokesperson of the Northern Command said the Army had ordered disciplinary proceedings against the accused personnel.

“A very detailed and exhaustive enquiry was conducted with the assistance of state police and judicial department to establish culpability of the accused personnel.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had in July 2010 filed a charge sheet against then Army Colonel, the Major and seven others in the case.

The ruling National Conference Wednesday welcomed the decision of the army to initiate court martial proceedings against the six army personnel.

“We welcome this step, but we strongly feel that the proceedings and the results should be made transparent so that there is no scope for any allegation or feeling of a cover-up,” Tanvir Sadiq, political secretary to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, told a local news agency.

“Some people may have brought bad name to it, but the army is an institution which has brought laurels to the country and we expect exemplary punishment to the accused officers without any further delay,” he said.

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