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You decide about trial: Court tells Army on Pathribal case

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, May 12 (UNI) A special court here has asked the Army if it wanted a civil trial or intended to initiate court martial proceedings against five senior personnel, including a Brigadier, accused of killing five innocent civilians in a fake encounter at Pathribal in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on March 25, 2000.

Passing an order in the case after the CBI filed a chargesheet against the Army personnel, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Srinagar, asked the Army to respond to the court by the next date of hearing on May 24.

It also ordered the accused -- Brigadier Ajay Saxena, Lt Col (then Major) Bijendra Pratap Singh, Major Sourabh Sharma, Major Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) -- to be present in the court in person on the date of hearing.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) yesterday filed a chargesheet in the CJM's court here against the five Army officials, charging them with murder, wrongful confinement, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence.

A CBI inspector, who is the investigating officer in the case, filed the chargesheet on behalf of the agency.

The Army officials, then attached with 7 RR, had allegedly killed the five civilians -- Zahoor Ahmed Dalal of Mominabad, Mohammad Yousuf Malik of Kokernag, Bashir Ahmed Bhat of Kapran Dooru, Juma Khan (son of Faqeer Khan) and Juma Khan (son of Sher Ali Khan) of Brari Angan -- in a fake encounter and later dubbed them as foreign militants responsible for killing 36 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora village in Anantnag district on March 20, 2000.

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