Machil fake encounter case: Army confirms life sentences for its six army personnel

Army’s Northern Command on Monday confirmed the life sentences of six army personnel, including two army officers in the 2010 Machil fake encounter case.

Written by Mir Ehsan , Pranav Kulkarni | Srinagar | Updated: September 8, 2015 2:35 am
Machil fake encounter This is the first case in the Valley in which Indian Army personnel have been awarded life terms on these charges.

The Army Northern Command confirmed Monday life terms awarded to six Army personnel, including a former commanding officer, for the 2010 killing of three youths in a fake encounter in Machil in north Kashmir. This is the first case in the Valley in which Army personnel have been awarded life terms on such a charge.

A spokesman of the Northern Command said Lt Gen D S Hooda, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, has confirmed the sentence of the Summary General Court Martial in the Machil encounter case.

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“Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havildar Devendra Kumar, Lance Naik Lakhmi, Lance Naik Arun Kumar and Rifleman Abbas Hussain have been awarded life imprisonment,’’ the spokesman said.

The sentence will be promulgated at the 28 Infantry Division in Kupwara. Sources said the six were likely to be sent to prisons in their home towns to serve the sentence. The promulgation will take away ranks of the men and send them to jail as civilians.

Last year, the court martial, headed by Brigadier Deepak Mehra of 68 Mountain Brigade, wrapped up proceedings and the sentence was sent to the Northern Command for confirmation.

The case relates to the killing in 2010 of Shezad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi from Nadihal village of Baramulla. On April 29 that year, the three were lured by two local counter-insurgency agents — Bashir Ahmad Lone and Abdul Hamid — and a Territorial Army jawan Abbas Hussain Shah to Kalaroos village in the Machil sector near the Line of Control.

The family of one of the victims, Shezad Ahmed, at Nadihal. (Express Photo by: Shuaib Masoodi) The family of one of the victims, Shezad Ahmed, at Nadihal. (Express Photo by: Shuaib Masoodi)

The three, who were promised jobs as porters and “good money”, were killed by soldiers of 4 Rajputana Rifles near the Sona Pindi post and called “Pakistani militants”.

Their identities were revealed a month later when their bodies were exhumed following a public outcry. The state government then constituted a high-level inquiry commission to probe the killings, but its report was never made public. The killings, meanwhile, sparked widespread unrest in the Valley and 123 people died.

The Army initiated court martial proceedings in December 2013, based on the findings of a court of inquiry report that was submitted by Brigadier G S Sangha, the then Commander of 68 Mountain Brigade.

The Army probe was set up following a notice issued by the Sopore Chief Judicial Magistrate based on a chargesheet filed by local police against 11 people — nine Army personnel and two civilians — who were charged under Sections 302 (murder), 364 (abduction), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intent) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).

In April 2013, a civil court handed over custody of the Territorial Army’s Abbas Hussain Shah to the Army for recording evidence. The court martial acquitted Hussain while two other civilians — Lone and Hamid — are still in custody.

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  1. D
    Dilip Banerjee
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:53 am
    Quote: “Army’s Northern Command on Monday confirmed the life sentences of six army personnel, including two army officers in the 2010 Machil fake encounter case.” “The case relates to the killing in 2010 of Shezad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi from Nadihal village of Baramulla.” “The killings, meanwhile, sparked widespread unrest in the Valley and 123 people died.” Unquote: So it’s not just killing of 3 civilians in the guise of militants, by army personnel in attempt to adorn badges on the uniform and punishing them. What about death of 123 people in the ensuing skirmishes? Has the guilty been identified and punished? Overall, this leads credibility to cry for withdrawal of AFSPA and lends demean to OROP agitation in the eyes of common people. (you like it or not)
    Reply
    1. B
      Bharatvasi
      Sep 8, 2015 at 10:33 pm
      It is politics of the existing Govt. to win por vote. It is impossible to gauge who is terrorist and such judgements will lower the morale of our servicemen who are fighting at borders for our safety and rights. We should hang our heads in shame for such a treatment to our services people.
      Reply
      1. P
        P M
        Sep 10, 2015 at 5:42 pm
        I believe the topic is not about hindus and muslims but a fake encounter. Please note that this is not an allegation but a full fledged court Marshall giving a verdict. Again, I have great respect for the army but such a scenario which has a verdict ped proving the malpractice by some elements of the armed forces which is a big threat to its integrity
        Reply
        1. I
          Indian
          Sep 7, 2015 at 6:12 pm
          How army personal will judge , One is terrorist or civilian. or should they wait till opposite side bullet to reach to them and then only they have to react ? I feel this injustice to our much respected army.
          Reply
          1. R
            Raman
            Sep 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm
            Justice for all. Need more such cases taken to their logical conclusion before we can really mean kashmiris are an integral part of India
            Reply
            1. J
              Jai
              Sep 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm
              But nobody wants to listen to Kasmiri Pandits right ?? 5 lakh booted out by these very kashmiri Muslims who thump their chests with ISLAMIC PRIDE and Rightful Claimants of Kashmir .. The point is there can only be peace when you have the correct end of the sword . I am for Peace but against double standards .
              Reply
              1. S
                Swamy
                Sep 7, 2015 at 6:04 pm
                Kashmiris will Love and respect India like before if justice is provided to them faster and not after waiting period of years.If we need Kashmir with Kasmiris then we have to listen to their grievances, instead of using force.
                Reply
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