Pathribal: Omar raises case closure with Singh

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JAMMU: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday took up closure of infamous Pathribal fake encounter case by Army with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking justice to victim families and punishment to the guilty, an official spokesman said.
Omar raised the issue of closure of case by Army on January 23 and “emphasised the need of giving justice to the families of victims and punishment to those responsible for innocent killings,” the spokesman said in a statement. However, the spokesman was silent on any assurance or otherwise by Singh.
Five civilians were killed in a fake encounter by Army’s 7 Rashtriya Rifles on March 25, 2000 at Pathribal in south Kashmir. Army had passed off the civilians as foreign militants and claimed arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
The case was handed over to the CBI for investigation in January 2003. The CBI, in 2006, indicted Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt. Col. Brajendra Pratap Singh, Maj. Sourabh Sharma, Maj. Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan for the cold-blood murder of the five civilians.
However, on January 23 this month, the Army informed Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar via communication that no prima facie case was made against its accused men following a court martial by it.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister “also apprised the Prime Minister of the achievements registered by the coalition government during the last five years in the state in various fields of socio-economic development, empowerment of people, employment generation and restoration of peace and stability. Matters pertaining to security and law and order also came up for discussion in the meeting,” the spokesman said.
The Chief Minister also discussed suspension of trade across LoC after the seizure of contraband drugs and stressed the need for amicable resolution of the matter with Pakistan so that the important CBM of trade across the LoC is not jeopardized, he said.
“The Chief Minister expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for his support to the state in its endeavour to fast track development and move ahead towards achieving the cherished goal of prosperity and tranquility,” the spokesman added.
Earlier, tight security arrangements were put in place as Singh arrived on Sunday on a two-day visit to the city, where he is scheduled to address Indian Science Congress at Jammu University on Monday.
The Prime Minister was received at the airport by Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, chairman Legislative Council Amrit Malhotra, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, members of the Council of Ministers, Parliament Member and president JK Pradesh Congress Committee Saifuddin Soz, the spokesman said.
He went straight to Raj Bhawan.
Singh will inaugurate the 101st Annual Indian Science Congress in which 8,000 delegates besides Vice-President Hamid Ansari, former President A P J Abdul Kalam, Nobel laureates Y Lee and Ferid Murad are expected to take part.
The University of Jammu is hosting the Indian Science Congress of the Indian Science Congress Association (a professional body of Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India)

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