Machil fake encounter case: Sixth soldier gets life term

Srinagar(web team): A military court in Srinagar has sentenced the sixth soldier to life imprisonment in the Machil encounter case, say reports. The court had earlier exonerated Territorial Army soldier and rifleman Abbas Hussain Shah in the case in November and had given five other army men, which included two officers, life term. However, last month Northern Command Chief Lt General DS Hooda seeked details of Shah’s involvement in the case, the reports add.

On April 29, 2010, two counter-insurgents along with Territorial Army rifleman Abbas Hussain lured three youth — Shezad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi — from Nadihal village of Bandipora district to Kalaroos in Kupwara district, promising them job and money. The bodies of the youths were later found and were shown by the Army as militants who were trying to sneak into the Valley, from higher reaches of Machil in North Kashmir, with arms and ammunition. Under the cash-for-kill policy, security forces men get reward money for eliminating the militants in the encounter. For instance, the cash reward for killing top militant could be more than Rs three lakh. In this case however, civilians were murdered and were termed as militants in order to rake in the money.

The civilian accused had allegedly got the money for luring three civilians who were later killed on the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector of Kupwara district on April 30, 2010.

The dubious killings led to a protest in the valley which turned violent resulting in the death of 113 civilians.