Army ends inquiry into Machil killings
Seeks to shift case to its court
Srinagar, Oct 23: The Army has concluded the internal inquiry into the alleged killing of three civilians in Machil area in a staged encounter last year.
Highly placed sources said that the inquiry has identified Army conduits who picked up the civilians in the last week of April of 2010 on the promise of engagement as labourers near the Line of Control.
The Army, sources said, has conveyed to the state government its willingness to act against the erring soldiers.
There is one hitch though. "The state government is trying the soldiers and the former SPO in a civilian court. The Army, however, insists that the trial should be shifted to the Army court," sources privy to the development. "The Army has promised to act promptly once a trial begins in the Army court," they added.
Three youth- Riyaz Ahmad, Muhammad Shafi and Shahzad Ahmad, all residents of Nadihal village in Baramulla district - were allegedly lured by a former SPO Bashir Ahmad Lone and his accomplices to Machil on the pretext of jobs.
They later handed them over to the Army for Rs 50,000 each.
The three were killed in a fake encounter at Machil on LoC with Army passing them off as foreign militants.
The case came to light when police found discrepancies in the FIR lodged by the Army unit and launched an inquiry into the incident. The fact that the slain youth were dressed in summer clothing raised the suspicion as most of the high mountain passes along the LoC were still covered with snow at the time of the incident in April.
Later police charge-sheeted 11 persons including a Colonel and two Majors of the Army before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (SJM) Sopore.
The soldiers belonged to the Army's 53 infantry brigade. After the Army launched an internal inquiry, the soldiers were not produced before the court for any cross examination.
The police chargesheet had nine Army officials and two civilians charged under sections 302 (murder), 364 (abduction), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intent) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).
The Territorial Army man Abbas and two other civilians accused in the case, Bashir Ahmad Lone and Abdul Hamid Bhat, are already under arrest and have been lodged in Sub-Jail Baramulla.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Oct 2011 00:00:00 IST
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Srinagar, Oct 23: The Army has concluded the internal inquiry into the alleged killing of three civilians in Machil area in a staged encounter last year. Highly placed sources said that the inquiry More
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