Pathribal Killings Court Martial From Sep 20

Srinagar – A military tribunal will hear the 12-year-old Pathribal killings case from September 20, but the appearance of the kin of two out of the five victims seems unlikely as their fathers have since passed away.

According to reports, summons has been issued for the witnesses in the case who have been told to report to Nagrota in Jammu by the commander of the 16th Corps, Lt Gen SK Tandaal.

The fathers of victims Faqueer Khan and Aamir Khan have passed away, and the aged mother of another slain local is too feeble and ailing to undertake the long journey.

Besides, she knows no language other than her native Gujjar tongue.

According to sources, summons to the witnesses will be served through the local army camps, and they will be conducted to the court martial under military escort.

The CBI has indicted several army officer and other personnel in the killings, but the latter have evaded civil prosecution on the plea that that requires clearance from the union home ministry.

With a stay order from the courts, the case has been unresolved for 12 years.

In May 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the army would have to take a decision whether to prosecute the accused on its own or opt for trial in a civil court.

The army officers indicted by the CBI include Brigadier Ajay Saxena, Lt Col Brajindar Pratap Singh, Major Saurab Sharma, Major Amit Sharma and JCO Owais Khan.

Accused of killing five civilians and passing them off as foreign militants, the officers had been booked by the CBI under sections 120B, 364, 307, 302, and 201 of the Indian Penal Code.Observer News Service

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