ISLAMABAD, Jul 27 (TNS): The Amnesty International has criticized the suspension of life sentences by a military court of five Indian troops involved in the cold-blooded murder of three innocent Kashmiri youth in Machil fake encounter in Indian occupied Kashmir.
According to details given by KMS, the Indian Army personnel had lured three youth, Shazad Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Muhammad Shafi Lone to the higher reaches of Machil on the pretext of jobs and good money as porters and killed them in a staged encounter on 29th April 2010. The killing had triggered widespread demonstrations across the occupied territory.
Programme Director at Amnesty International, India, Asmita Basu, in a statement issued said, “The developments in the Machil fake encounter case once again highlight the need for allegations of human rights violations to be investigated and prosecuted by independent civilian authorities, instead of the secretive military justice system.” She said, civilian investigations and trials offer a degree of transparency and independence that is missing from the military justice system.
“The families of those killed in Machil were not informed about the conviction in 2010 and weren’t told about the decision to suspend the sentence. The working of the military justice system repeatedly belies Indian Army’s zero-tolerance for claim of human rights violations,” she added.
Asmita Basu said that several international bodies had emphasized thatmilitary justice systems should only investigate and prosecute members of the military for breaches of military discipline. “Their jurisdiction should not extend to other crimes, including crimes under international law or human rights violations,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Jammu Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) has expressed \shock and disappointment over the suspension of the life sentences awarded to the troops involved in Machil fake encounter. The JKPM Chairman, Mir Shahid Saleem, in a statement issued in Srinagar said that by suspending the life sentences to the murderer military men, Indian military tribunal had made a mockery of its justice system.