Lifer for TA solider in Machhil fake encounter

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 13: An Army court dismissed a solider of Territorial Army from his service and gave lifer to him for his involvement in Machhil fake encounter case, in which three youths were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) in April 2010 leading to massive protests across Kashmir in which 120 people were killed in alleged Police firing.
A top Army officer told Excelsior that Territorial Army rifleman, Abbas Hussain Shah, was awarded life sentence and was dismissed from service by the General Court Martial (GCM). However, the file has been sent to Northern Army chief, Lt General H S Hooda for confirmation of the court martial.
In November last year, five army men including two officers were sentenced to life for killing three youths in a fake encounter in Machhil sector of Kupwara district. Shah was exonerated by the GCM last year but has now been convicted and sentenced to life in a fresh court martial carried out on the instructions of Army Headquarters at Udhampur-based Northern Command.
The file of court martial was returned by the Army Commander, Lt General H S Hooda, with a note seeking investigation of the role of the Territorial army man, Abbas Hussain Shah in the fake encounter. “How can he (TA man) be innocent? The file will be approved once his role is established”, he had written while returning the file.
The GCM has held that all the six army personnel – Territorial army man Abid Hussain Shah, Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra Singh, Havildar Devinder and Lance Naiks Lakhmi and Arun Kumar – should be cashiered from service, stripped of their ranks and all pension benefits. All of them were accused in the Machhil fake encounter case.
The case will now be sent to the Army Headquarters at Northern Command for confirmation of the sentence and it will be implemented as soon as the Northern Command confirms it.
Three civilians – Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Muhammad Shafi Lone of Nadihal Baramulla – were killed in a stage managed encounter by soldiers of 4 Rajput regiment in Machil Sector on April 30, 2010. After the fake encounter killing was exposed, it led to wide spread protests in Kashmir valley which lasted for whole summer in which 120 people, mostly youth, were killed in protests.
Police arrested over 200 people to quell these protests. Almost all the separatist leaders were arrested for fomenting the trouble. Almost all of them were released over a period of time except Muslim League leader Masarat Alam. He was released last week leading to a major controversy.


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