SRINAGAR: Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Mohammad Yasin Malik on Monday slammed Indian Defence Minister AK Antony’s reported refusal to reopen the 2001 Pathribal fake encounter case after the Army gave a clean chit to five of its men accused of killing five civilians.
“Killers of Kashmiris cannot evade punishment and will have to face justice. We will not stop holding protests till the killers of Pathribal are brought to justice,” Malik said in a statement.
According to media reports, Antony “appears to be backing the Army” which is unwilling to review the clean-chit it has given to five of its personnel in the fake encounter. “The Prime Minister is believed to have told Antony to take a fresh look but he is said to be against that,” the reports said.
Malik said that Army and Defence Minister’s clean chit to the accused Army men in the Pathribal fake encounter case was akin to “justifying the genocide of Kashmiris and an ugly stain on the Indian democracy.”
“We will continue our protests till the killers of Pathribal are brought to justice and soon a comprehensive protest program will be issued against this Indian oppressive behavior,” he added.
Criticizing Antony, Malik said, “Denial and shielding killers and murderers is not new as Indian Army and rulers before this also shielded the killers and criminals involved in Gaw Kadal, Sopore, Handwara, Bijbehara, Kawdara, Tengpora , Zakura, Bandipora, Poonch, and Bhaderwah massacres and Kunan-Poshpora-like crimes.”
Malik said this attitude of Indian rulers and politicians was a clear evidence of the fact that Jammu Kashmir was governed by Indian Army, forces and agencies under the garb of fake democracy. “These forces kill Kashmiris at will without the fear of any punishment or enquiries.”