Baramulla: Families of the three youths killed in the Machil fake encounter in 2010 held a protest on Sunday against an army tribunal’s verdict that suspended the life sentence of five army men convicted for the killings.
The three families from Nadihal village held their protest at the Nadihal bus stop. The three youths killed by Indian Army soldiers in Machhil sector of Kupwara were Shahzad Ahmad Khan, 27, Riyaz Ahmad Lone, 20 and Mohammad Shafi Lone, 19.
Showkat Ahmad Khan, younger brother of the slain Shahzad Ahmad Khan, told Kashmir Reader, “We are in shock since the army tribunal granted bail to all the five army men who are directly involved in the fake encounter. It had been clear from day one that the killed youths were civilians and not involved in any militancy related activity. How can the army now say that they were militants?”
Showkat said that the families will hold more protests and will challenge the army tribunal’s decision in court.
Zahida Begam, the mother of Mohammad Shafi Lone, said, “We don’t understand how the army court can now claim that the killed youths were suspected militants when the police, several investigative teams of the army itself, and independent organisations have verified that it was a fake encounter staged for the sake of promotions and rewards.”