New Delhi: India’s Defence Minister A K Antony appears to be backing the Army which is unwilling to review the clean-chit it has given to five of its officers in the Pathribal fake encounter case, a decision that has generated outrage in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Army recently announced that it was closing the case relating to the fake encounter in which five civilians were killed 14 years ago in Pathribal in south Kashmir. CBI had filed a charge-sheet against the five officers, including a Brigadier.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, state’s political parties and general public reacted sharply to the Army’s decision and pressed for a reconsideration. Omar took up the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to Jammu.
The Prime Minister is believed to have told Antony to take a fresh look but he is said to be against that.
Repeated e-mails and phone calls to the Defence Ministry for a reaction brought forth no response.
Army headquarters, however, said, “We have given our report to the Chief Judicial Magistrate and now its upto them to take whatever action they think is appropriate”.
The only course for the state government now is to act through judiciary.
The Chief Minister had recently said on the floor of the state Assembly that “in case we have to proceed through a writ petition in the High Court, we will surely do it. We are committed to ensuring justice to the people in these cases (Pathribal)”.—PTI