Machil fake encounter case: Northern command chief confirms life sentence to six army personnel

Jammu: On, Monday Indian army’s northern command chief confirmed the life sentence awarded to six army personnel, including a colonel-rank officer, by a general court martial in the 2010 Machil fake encounter case.

Speaking to news agency IANS, senior offficer SO Goswami said that, “General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda has confirmed the sentence of a Summary General Court Martial in the Machil encounter case.”

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

The incident came to light on April 30, 2010, when bodies of three youths were shown by Army as militants, who were trying to sneak into the Valley, from higher reaches of Machil in North Kashmir, with arms and ammunition.

It had later claimed that they were Pakistani terrorists.

On 2014, initially five army men were held guilty who were sentenced to life imprisonment. Later a sixth army officer was also found guilty.

The decision was welcomed by then Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, who termed it as a ‘watershed moment’.

“This is a watershed moment. No one in Kashmir ever believed that justice would be done in such cases. Faith in institutions disappeared. “I hope that we never see such #Machil fake encounter type of incidents ever again and let this serve as a warning to those tempted to try,” he said.

With IANS agency inputs