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October 2, 2017 9:30 pm

Pathribal Fake Encounter:SC to Hear Plea by Kin of Victims Today

Srinagar—The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a petition filed amid army’s disclosure that no Court of Inquiry (CoI) was conducted into Pathribal fake encounter killings. The plea has been filed by kin of victims of the fake encounter, seeking resumption of proceeding before CBI court into the killings of five civilian in March 2000.

The families have filed the plea against the J&K High Court’s April 27 order, dismissing their petition seeking criminal court proceeding before CBI court here in cold-blood murder of the five civilians on 25 March 2000.

In 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigation indicted 7 Rashtriya Rifles’s Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt. Col. Brajendra Pratap Singh, Maj. Sourabh Sharma, Maj. Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan for the murder of the five civilians, three of whom were claimed by army as Pakistani militants responsible for the massacre of 36 Sikhs at Chittisingpora on 20 March 2000. Two other slain were claimed to be unknown militants by the army.

The CBI probe was ordered by the state government and based on DNA tests, the India’s premier investigation agency concluded that the bodies were of Zahoor Ahmad Dalal, Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Yousuf Malik, Jumma Khan Son Amirullah Khan and Jumma Khan Son of Faqirullah Khan, all local villagers.

In 2012, the Supreme Court issued directions to Army to hold a trial of the accused either through court-martial or criminal court.

On 20 January 2014, the Army in a communication informed the Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar that no prima facie case was made against its accused men following a “court martial” by it.

In their plea, the families of victims had contended that army did not conduct court-martial but “lightly dismissed the serious charges filed by CBI against the accused at the pre-trial stage, through summary of evidence.”

Nazir Ahmad Dalal, maternal uncle of Zahoor Ahmad Dalal, who was one of the victims of the infamous encounter, and IGP Kashmir had filed application before CJM Srinagar in 2014, seeking directions to army to provide its ‘court-martial’ judgment exonerating its accused army men. The CJM had dismissed the plea, saying that they had no ‘locus standi.’

Last year, the Army revealed before Central Information Commission (CIC) that it did not conduct CoI into killings.

“There was no such Court of Inquiry and therefore information is not available as such to be provided,” the Army’s Central Public Information Officer had told CIC.

 

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