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J&K Machil fake encounter : 7 armymen sentenced to LIFE

Srinagar : Seven armymen, including two officers, were given life imprisonment by an army court in the 2010 Machil fake encounter case in which three youngsters were dubbed Pakistani infiltrators and gunned down. The court found that the youths were lured to Kupwara district with promises of job and money on April 29, 2010, and then killed by the troops. The next day, the army claimed that they had killed three infiltrators in the Machil sector along the Line of Control. The case triggered widespread agitation in the valley. Those convicted by General Court Martial (GCM) include the then commanding officer of the 4 Rajput regiment (the unit which was involved in the encounter) Col DK Pathania , Captain Upendra Singh, Subedar Satbir Singh, Havildar Bir Singh, Sepoy Chadraban, Sepoy Nagendra Singh and Sepoy Narinder Singh. 

Abbas Hussain Shah of Territorial Army was exonerated by the GCM. The court martial proceedings began in December 2013 and ended September this year. The proceedings in the case were presided by Brigadier Deepak Mehra of Kupwara-based 68 Mountain Brigade. All services benefits of the soldiers have also been suspended by the court martial. According to the case two counter-insurgents along with Territorial Army rifleman Abbas Hussain lured three youths from Nadihal village in north Kashmir — Shezad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi — to Kalaroos in Kupwara district promisi9ng them jobs. The three were killed in a staged encounter by troops and dubbed as Pakistani militants attempting to infiltrate across the LoC. 

Timeline: 

- April 29, 2010: Relatives of three civilians, all residents of Nadihal village in north Kashmir, file a missing persons report 

- April 30, 2010: Army claims it has killed three infiltrators at Machil near the Line of Control May 28, 2010: Bodies are exhumed after relatives identify the clothes of the victims in a police station. 

 - June 2010: Chief judicial magistrate records statements of a senior police officer and three constables from north Kashmir’s Kalaroos police station. The army also starts Court of Inquiry against the accused soldiers. 

-  December 2011: The army invokes the Army Act to seek transfer of Machil fake encounter case from criminal court to court martial on grounds that accused army personnel were on active duty 

- December 2013: The army announces court martial of six accused soldiers. 

Source - HT

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