Srinagar: Pro-freedom groups have termed the decision of the Army to close the Pathribal fake encounter case as “murder of justice”, saying till the time the security forces have powers under laws like AFSPA, such killings cannot be stopped.
Calling the closure “a slap” on the face of the people of the state, Hurriyat Conference(G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani demanded a probe by the United Nation’s War Crime Tribunal (WCT) into the incidents like Pathribal.
“This decision (by the Army) is an evidence that there is no respect for human lives in Jammu and Kashmir,” Geelani said in a statement released here.
“By closing the Pathribal case, the real face of Indian Army has come to the fore. This incident proved that there is no accountability in Kashmir and its forces have no respect for human rights of the people,” he said.
Terming the Omar Abdullah government a “puppet”, he called for its resignation on moral grounds.
Chairman of the parallel Hurriyat faction, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq also took strong exception to the Army’s decision and said “the sword of AFSPA was used to murder justice”.
“This vindicated our stand that such probes are meant to save the culprits and buy time. Till AFSPA remains in force in Kashmir, it is not possible to put an end to such murderous incidents,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the decision should serve as an eye-opener to the UN Human Rights Council, world human rights bodies and justice-loving people of the country.
Mirwaiz called for probe by an impartial agency into Pathribal and similar incidents and expressed apprehension that the same fate would be meted out in Machil fake encounter case in which three youth were lured and killed by the Army on the Line of Control in 2010, and later were dubbed as foreign militants.
Terming the clean chit by Army to its officers as “justifying the genocide of Kashmiris”, JKLF Chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik said his party would protest against this “criminal attitude of Indian state” at Lal Chowk next Friday.
“Killing civilians in the name of foreign militants and then giving killers clean chit is an ugly stain on the Indian democracy,” Malik said, adding that the Army had thrown out the Indian democracy, law and judiciary, and was protected by “black laws” like AFSPA.
Tehreek-e-Khwateen chairperson, Anjum Zamarud Habib also condemned the army’s decision to “exonerate its personnel of a barbaric crime”