ANANTNAG: On the 15th anniversary of Pathribal fake encounter, family members of the victims Wednesday organised a commemoration meet in Brari Aangan village here.
On this day in 2000, army shot dead five civilians in Pathribal forests and later dubbed them as foreign militants involved in the massacre of 35 Sikhs in Chattisingpora village which had been carried out three days before by unidentified gunmen.
The CBI, which probed the Pathribal incident on the directions of the Supreme Court, described the killings as cold blood murders and indicted five army officers in its report. But an army court in June last year gave clean chit to its accused officials.
On the 15th anniversary of the incident, the families of two of the victims held a remembrance meeting in their native village Brari Aangan. The family members and some locals carrying placards and banners reading ‘Go AFSPA’ marched up to the graveyard where the victims are buried and offered prayers for them.
The victims’ families vowed to fight for justice till end. “An army court verdict was expected. You can’t expect justice from the killers. But closure of the case has not broken our resolve. If the killers think so, they are badly mistaken. Our fight for justice will continue till end,” said Rashid Khan, son of one of the victims Juma Khan. Four other victims of the fake encounter were Bashir Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Yusuf Malik, Juma Khan and Zahoor Ahmad Dalal.
Rashid said the meeting had been organised “to convey to the killers and those who shield them that ‘we have not forgotten’.”
The families also urged Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the killers are brought to book. “Both Mufti sahab and Modi ji have vowed to uphold human rights. If they really believe in healing the wounds, our case is the first they should act upon,” Rashid said.