Srinagar: The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Saturday staged a protest here against Army’s closure of Pathribal fake encounter case and sought an “independent and impartial probe” into such incidents.
It also expressed apprehensions that the Machil fake encounter case in which three Kashmiri youth were killed by the Army and later passed off as Pakistani militants might also meet the fate of the “Army’s clean chit to its men in the Pathribal fake encounter.”
“Contrary to the CBI findings indicting the soldiers for the cold- blooded murder of five innocent civilians, army disgraced the justice delivery system by acquitting the guilty men. The army’s court martial verdict is a blot on the Indian democracy,” APDP chairperson, Parveena Ahanger, told Kashmir Reader on the sidelines of a peaceful protest here against the Army decision.
“Our demand is that the Pathribal fake encounter case, in which five innocent Kashmiris were killed in 2000, should be re-opened,” Parveena said.
She said that there were chances the army might give clean chit to its soldiers in the Macchil fake encounter just as it had done in the Pathribal case.
She said probes ordered by the state and the army are all pointless and fictitious.
“How can the perpetrators deliver justice? If CBI indicted the soldiers, how can army exonerate its men? We demand an independent and impartial probe into the Pathribal fake encounter case. The guilty must be taken to the task,” she said.
She said that the Pathribal case was very unique in that it attracted media attention and was indeed an exception among thousands of incidents of human rights abuses which never get reported.
“Not a single Indian soldier has been convicted for the crimes they committed in Kashmir reflecting that the tall claims of justice and reparation made by the Indian state and its collaborators are nothing but a tactics to hood-wink the international community and an attempt to cover-up India’s crime against humanity in Kashmir,” she said.
The Indian state, she said has time and again demonstrated that its interests in Kashmir guarded by its soldiers are superior to the rights of the individual Kashmiris. She said that the Indian judiciary has also been hand in glove with the state in sustaining the predominance of the India’s interests over the rights of the people of Kashmir
“Army decision has not come as a surprise to the people of Kashmir as generations of Kashmir people have been witness to extra judicial killings, torture, rape, enforced disappearances, molestation, humiliations and other heinous violations at the hands of the Indian soldiers and their collaborators in Kashmir,” she said.
Coming down heavily on the pro-India parties, The APDP chairperson said that probes, human rights commissions dance to the tunes of the state. She said people have no faith in Indian institutions.
“All Indian laws are applicable to Kashmiris only, not to their trigger happy troops. What has the state government done to Rashid Billa, who killed three innocents at Soura? He is moving freely?” she asked.
Earlier, dozens of APDP members, mostly women staged a peaceful protest against the Patrhibal verdict by army court. The protesters with their mouths gagged by black bands were carrying posters that read “Denial of justice to the Pathribal fake encounter victims is a threat to the people of Kashmir,” “Stop impunity to the perpetrators,” “Repeal AFSPA,”. Later, the protesters dispersed peacefully