Led by party president and independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid, several AIP activists marched on Residency road and chanted slogans against the decision of the Army to close the case after 14 years. The activists, who were carrying banners and placards demanding among other issues, revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), dispersed peacefully at Press enclave here.
Condemning the decision, the fire-brand legislator from Langate constituency of Kupwara demanded a probe by Supreme Court into the incident to unravel the truth.
"Kashmiris have lost hope for justice after the Army closed the fake encounter case despite filing of chargesheet by CBI...It is not only Pathribal incident but every nook and corner of Kashmir has witnessed such incidents over the past two decades and we demand a probe by Supreme Court to bring the culprits behind such heinous acts to book," Rashid said.
"This is not the question of the killing of five innocent persons at Pathirbal alone. Who killed Sikhs at Chattisinghpora on the eve of then US President Bill Clinton's visit to India in 2000?" Rashid said.
"Why those responsible for Chattisinghpora massacre remained unidentified till date?" he said. On January 23, Army announced closure of the Pathribal fake encounter case saying the evidence recorded could not establish prima facie charges against any of the accused persons.
CBI had in 2006 indicted five Army personnel for killing five civilians in a fake encounter, following the massacre of Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in south Kashmir. The activists were also carrying a banner denouncing the hanging of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru in February last year.
Referring to the recent Supreme Court order to commute the sentences of 15 death row convicts, Rashid said AIP welcomed the order, but claimed that a different yardstick was used while dealing with the case of Guru.