Machhil fake encounter: one more soldier sentenced to life

Machhil fake encounter one more soldier sentenced to lifeSRINAGAR: An army court has sentenced one more soldier to life term and dismissed him from service for his involvement in Machhil fake encounter case, in which three youths were killed near the LoC in April 2010.

This is the sixth conviction in the case.

“Territorial Army rifleman Abbas Hussain Shah has also been given life sentence and dismissal from service by the General Court Martial (GCM),” a top army officer said on condition of anonymity.

In November last year, five armymen including two officers were sentenced to life for gunning down three youths and then trying to pass them off as “Pakistani infiltrators” in a stage-managed encounter in Machhil sector of Kupwara district.

The April 2010 incident led to massive agitation across Kashmir valley, resulting in death of nearly 120 protesters in action by security forces to quell the protests.

Shah had earlier been exonerated by the GCM but has now been convicted and sentenced to life in a fresh court martial carried out on the instructions of Army headquarters at Udhampur-based Northern Command.

The GCM has held that all the six army personnel should be cashiered from service, stripped of their ranks and all pension benefits.

The army officer said the case will now be sent to the Army Headquarters at Northern Command for confirmation of the sentence.

“The sentence will be implemented as soon as we get the confirmation from the Northern Command HQ,” he added.

Besides Shah, Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra Singh, Havildar Devinder and Lance Naiks Lakhmi and Arun Kumar were the other accused in the Machhil fake encounter case. –PTI

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