Another soldier convicted in fake encounter case

Army court awards life sentence

Another soldier convicted in fake encounter case

Barely four months after two officers and three soldiers were convicted for killing three people in a fake encounter in the Machil area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district in 2010, an Army court has sentenced another soldier for his involvement in the case.

Sources told Deccan Herald that Territorial Army rifleman Abbas Hussain Shah was given life sentence and dismissed from service by the General Court Martial. 

Earlier, Army’s Northern Command had returned the conviction file without its approval and sought details about the involvement of Shah in the killings who had been Shah had been exonerated.

The file had been sent back to the General Officer Commanding 15-Corps after it was studied by legal branch of the Northern Command which had sought details of the involvement of Shah in the killings.

Sources said the case will now be resent to the Northern Command for confirmation of the sentence. “The sentence will be implemented as soon as the confirmation from the Northern Command based in Udhampur,” they added.

In November 2014, a court martial had convicted then commanding officer of the 4 Rajput regiment (the unit which was involved in the encounter) Colonel D K Pathania, Captain Upendra Singh and three other soldiers for killing Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Muhammad Shafi Lone resident of Baramulla district and then trying to pass them off as “Pakistani infiltrators” in a stage-managed encounter for promotions and awards.

After it was established that the trio were civilians, Kashmir valley erupted in protests against the gruesome killings, which snowballed into a full-fledged agitation from June to November 2010.

More than 100 protesting civilians were killed in security forces’ action in the five months following the Machil fake encounter.

After the killings, police registered a case while Army started its own probe. After preliminary investigations, the Army found the Commanding Officer and four soldiers of 4 Rajput regiment involved in killings.

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