Srinagar, Dec 25 IANS | 10 months ago

A court of inquiry ordered by the army Wednesday indicted six army personnel, including a colonel, two majors and three other officers, for their involvement in a staged shootout in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district in 2010.


Army sources told IANS that following the findings of the court of inquiry, the army has now ordered court martial of the six personnel for their involvement in the incident.

The army at that time had said it killed three infiltrating guerrillas in Machil area on the Line of Control (LoC) April 30, 2010.

However, residents alleged that all three so-called infiltrators were unarmed civilians who were lured by some other civilians acting as sources for the army by offering them jobs, after which they were taken to the LoC and framed as infiltrating guerrillas.

In the aftermath of the alleged staged shootout, protests and ensuing clashes with security forces erupted in the Kashmir Valley, which resulted in the deaths of at least 110 people in 2010.

Police registered a case in the alleged staged shootout and later charged 11 army personnel for framing the three civilians as guerrillas and later killing them.

The ruling National Conference Wednesday welcomed the decision of the army to initiate court martial proceedings against the six army personnel.

"We welcome this step, but we strongly feel that the proceedings and the results should be made transparent so that there is no scope for any allegation or feeling of a cover-up," Tanvir Sadiq, political secretary to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, told a local news agency.

"Some people may have brought bad name to it, but the army is an institution which has brought laurels to the country and we expect exemplary punishment to the accused officers without any further delay," he said.

(Posted on 25-12-2013)