Armed Forces Tribunal To Hear Machil Fake Encounter Case Likely On Jan 10

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Punishment of five accused soldiers was suspended in 2017            Machil Fake Encounter

Nasir Azam

Srinagar: The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) is likely to hear Machil fake encounter killings case on January 10, 2020

According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), on December 3, the Tribunal ordered that the case be re-listed on January 10. On the last two hearings, the bench hearing the case did not assemble.

In April, 2010, Army had claimed that it had killed three infiltrators in Machil sector. The men were later identified as Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Muhammad Shafi Lone, all residents of Nadihal village of Baramulla district.

The police investigation reveal that they were killed in fake encounter by Army after luring them on promise of providing them jobs and cash.

Subsequently, as per KNO, the bodies of three were exhumed from a graveyard at Kalaroos. Later, the Court Martial awarded life imprisonment to commanding officer Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havaldar Devender Kumar, Lance Naik Lakhmi, Lance Naik Arun Kumar and Rifleman Abbas Hussain who staged the fake encounter to claim cash rewards and promotions. In 2015, the accused challenged the Court Martial proceedings before the Tribunal’s Principal Bench at New Delhi. On July 25, 2017, the Tribunal suspended life imprisonment of the accused.

The Tribunal cited the attire of the civilians killed in fake encounter to suspend life sentence of the accused. “The fact that the accused persons were militants who have infiltrated across the border or were crossing over to the other side cannot be ruled out because they were wearing ‘pathan suits’ which are worn by terrorists,” read the order of Tribunal.

After the Tribunal order, the State government led by Mehbooba Mufti-led examined whether it can challenge the Tribunal order. The government, however, did not challenge suspension of punishment of the accused before J& High Court or Supreme Court.

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