Omar meets PM, raises Army decision in Pathribal encounter

Omar meets PM, raises Army decision in Pathribal encounter

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and raised the issue of Army's controversial decision to close the Pathribal fake encounter case, saying punishment should be meted to those responsible for killing of innocent people.

Omar also emphasized the need for giving justice to the families of the victims, an official spokesman here said.

The Chief Minister also discussed suspension of trade across Line of Control(LoC) after the seizure of truck load of contraband drugs and called for amicable resolution of the matter with Pakistan so that the important Confidence Building Measure(CBM) of trade across the LoC is not jeopardized.

India and Pakistan last Thursday failed to break the two-week-old deadlock over the cross-LoC trade.

During the meeting at Raj Bhavan, the Prime Minister was briefed about the peace and development scenario prevailing in the State at present.

Nearly 14 years after the fake encounter rocked J and K, the Army last month closed the case, saying the evidence recorded could not establish prime facie charges against any of its accused five personnel.

The Army decision triggered an outrage in the Valley.

Five civilians were killed in a fake encounter on March 26, 2000 at Pathribal in South Kashmir with the victims being branded by Army as foreign militants.

The case was handed over to the CBI for investigation in January, 2003. The CBI in its chargesheet concluded that officers and jawans of the Seven Rashtriya Rifles -- Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt Col Brahendra Pratap Singh, Maj Saurabh Sharma, Maj Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan had staged a fake encounter and killed five innocent civilians whom they said were terrorists involved in the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora in south Kashmir on March 20, 2000.

The Chief Minister also apprised the Prime Minister of the achievements registered by the coalition government during the last five years in the State in various fields of socio-economic development, empowerment of people, employment generation and restoration of peace and stability.

Matters pertaining to security and law and order also came up for discussion in the meeting, the spokesman said.

The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his support to the State in its endeavour to fast track development and move ahead towards achieving the cherished goal of prosperity and tranquillity.

Omar wished good health and well-being to Singh which he reciprocated warmly. The Prime Minister also wished peace and progress in the State and well-being of its people.

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