[QODLink]
News

Indian army ends Kashmir encounter probe

Kashmir chief minister disappointed as Indian army shuts down alleged fake encounter case.

Last updated: 24 Jan 2014 11:53
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Despite frequent accusations, Indian army says there is zero-tolerance towards excesses

The Indian army has closed investigations into an alleged fake encounter case that reportedly left five innocent civilians dead on March 26, 2000 at Pathribal, in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The army had always denied that civilians were killed in the encounter, maintaining that those killed were "mercenaries" responsible for the killing of 35 members of the Sikh community five days earlier while Bill Clinton, the then US President, was on a visit to India.

Spotlight
Follow our special India coverage

Five Indian army soldiers had been earlier indicted by the country's premier investigating agency for the killing of the "civilians".

Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir expressed "extreme disappointment" over this and told a TV new channel he would "knock on every door possible" at the federal government level to seek justice against this.

An Indian army spokesperson told reporters in Jammu, "The evidence recorded could not establish a prima facie case against any of the accused persons."

The defence spokesperson said, "it was established the Pathribal encounter was a joint operation by police and the army based on specific intelligence", quoted reports.

According to the army, over 50 witnesses including civilians, state government and police officials were examined.

"The case has been closed by army authorities and intimation given to the court of the judicial magistrate in Srinagar," the spokesperson said.

CBI’s indictment

In 2006 the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), India’s top federal agency, had indicted five army personnel for staging the encounter.

The CBI’s 18-page charge sheet said the army unit in the area was under "tremendous psychological pressure" to show adequate response to the gunning down of the Sikh community members in south Kashmir.

The CBI in its report had cleared the state police while indicting five army personnel, including officials and soldiers of the Seven Rashtriya Rifles unit, of staging a fake encounter that killed five innocents.

Following a Supreme Court order in March 2012 the Indian army had taken over the case after the CBI probe.

Rights groups have often accused the Indian army of excesses in the region. The army denies such charges, insisting there is zero-tolerance towards abuses.

Reports said 123 Indian army personnel have been found guilty in 59 cases of human rights violation in India- administered Kashmir region.

390

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.

Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.