Complimenting Sharma on assuming the charge, Dulloo asked him to use his expertise to bring innovations in the working of the JKWRRA.
The Armed Forces Tribunal suspending the sentence of life imprisonment awarded to an Army captain by a Summary General Court Martial (SGCM) on the charges of killing three civilians in a “fake encounter” in Kashmir has reopened the wounds of Haji Mohammad Yousuf.
Haji Yousuf’s son Abrar Ahmad was among those gunned down by a team of Army in South Kashmir’s Shopian. Gloom has descended on the three families in the Rajouri district of Jammu whose young boys were killed in a “staged” encounter in south Kashmir’s Amshipora in July 2020.
The families have, on Tuesday, dubbed the suspension of the life term of the Army captain and granting of bail to him in the case as “grave injustice”.
As the news of the Armed Forces Tribunal granting relief to Captain Bhupendra Singh reached the village in Rajouri, the grieving families of the deceased boys vowed not to remain silent but to move a higher court.
The three youths – Imtiyaz Hussain, Abrar Ahmed, and Mohammed Abrar – were killed in a remote village in the Shopian district on 18 July 2020, and dubbed as “terrorists”.
Former chief minister and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti wrote on X; “Just spoke with the father of the innocent civilian killed in the fake Amshipora encounter. He is utterly devastated by the Army Tribunal’s decision to revoke the life sentence judgement given to the Captain, who himself admitted the crime. Raises serious questions on the sanctity of the judicial process.”
The Army officer was court-martialled in March and a subsequent summary of evidence found that the troops under the command of the Captain “exceeded their powers under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
Refusing to accept the tribunal’s decision, the families said they would take the matter to a higher court, seeking justice for their sons and hoping to uncover the truth behind the fateful encounter. We are poor people and feel we were denied justice. We were expecting the death sentence for the Captain for killing three innocents in cold blood. We will not sit silent and will challenge the order of the tribunal,” they said.
They said a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for each of the three families and a job given to a member of each family in the sheep husbandry department two months ago is not worth the lives of our children. There should be accountability for the killing of our innocent sons.
Following the allegations against the Army, the Jammu, and Kashmir Police had also constituted a special investigation team (SIT) which filed a chargesheet against three people, including the Captain, for “staging a fake encounter”.
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the families of the slain men in Rajouri in 2020 and conveyed to them Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that the government stood with the aggrieved families and that they would be taken care of with all support from the government.