Major suspended, Colonel removed in Kashmir fake encounter case

Srinagar, June 06 : Under fire over the killing of three youths in alleged fake encounter in Machil, the Army today suspended a major allegedly involved in the encounter and removed a colonel from the command pending inquiry.

“It’s true. A Major has been suspended and a Colonel removed,” said Srinagar-based Defence spokesman Lt Colonel JS Brar while quoting GoC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen BS Jaswal.

On April 30, the army claimed to have foiled an infiltration bid at Machil, 90 km north of Srinagar, and killed three militants and seized five AK-47 rifles. After three weeks of the encounter, three families from Nadihaal claimed the three killed were their kin. They recognised them from the pictures the police had taken of the bodies.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday held a meeting of the Unified Command, where senior army and civil administration officials were present, to take stock of the situation arising in the backdrop of the killings in the alleged fake encounter.

Sources privy to the meeting confirmed the issue of fake encounters were discussed by the chief minister.

Abdullah also reiterated the government’s commitment to zero tolerance against human rights violations. He was also briefed on the security scenario and law and order situation in the state.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, GoC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen BS Jaswal, GoC XIV Corps Lt Gen SK Singh, GoC XV Corps, Lt Gen NC Marwah, GoC XVI Corps, Lt Gen Rameshwar Rao, GoC IX Corps, Lt Gen DS Thakur, Chief Secretary, SS Kapur, Financial Commissioner Home, Samuel Vergees, Director General Police, Kuldeep Khoda, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Special Director General CRPF, N.K. Tripathi, ADGP CID, K. Rajendra, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Naseem Lanker, IGP Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad, various IGPs from BSF and CRPF, Joint Director IB, DIG Jammu and Additional Commissioner SB.

Sources said the Army authorities assured full cooperation with the police investigation the Machil incident.