Court rejects Army plea in Macchil killings15 June 2010
The Daily Excelsior
SRINAGAR: Army's internal probe into alleged fake encounter killing of three youth at Macchil near the Line of Control received a set back today as a local court rejected the Army application seeking permission to question three civilians arrested in connection with the case by police. Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Sopore, Kausar Qureshi disposed off the application moved by the Army last week by rejecting it on the basis of police report. The police report submitted to the court maintained that since the arrested persons were accused in commission of the crime, there was no provision under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to hand them over to any other authority for questioning. Army had moved an application before the CJM Sopore on June 9 seeking permission to question the persons already arrested by police on the charges of allegedly 'abducting' three youth from Nadihal in Baramulla district who were later killed in an 'encounter' at Macchil. Brigadier G S Sangha, who is heading the high level internal inquiry ordered by the Army into the allegations of fake encounter killings at Macchil, moved the application and sought permission for questioning the co-accused in the case. The Army maintained in the application that the questioning of the co-accused was necessitated to fix the responsibility in the incident. The Army has promised a transparent probe into the incident saying the guilty will not be shielded. Police has arrested former SPO Bashir Ahmad Lone, Territorial Army jawan Abbas Hussain Shah, Abdul Hamid and Abdul Qayoom, who allegedly conspired with Major Opendra Singh to lure the three youth - Reyaz Ahmad, Mohammad Shafi and Shahzad Ahmad - on the promise of giving them high paying jobs in Army as porters. The Army has already suspended Major Opendra Singh of 4 Rajput Regiment and removed Colonel D K Pathania from the command of the unit till the inquiry is completed. The four arrested persons are already in police remand till tomorrow and will be presented before the court for its extension by another week. As many as 11 witnesses including three policemen have recorded their statements before the investigating officer so far.