The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday termed Army's closure of Pathribhal fake encounter case as 'miscarriage of justice' and said that developments like these make it difficult for people of Jammu and Kashmir to have trust in the state's institutions.
"We reject the closure report of Pathribal case as miscarriage of justice. Developments like these make restoration of credibility in institutions among the people of Jammu and Kashmir even more difficult," PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said in a statement issued here.
The Army's decision is a 'huge setback' to the efforts at reconciliation and delivery of justice, he said, adding that there was an urgent need for taking initiative and changing mindsets to ensure justice.
"While there is a genuine outrage at Khirki incident in New Delhi, the opposite of it is seen in Jammu and Kashmir, where all institutions, from the local police to the highest court in the land, have for the last 15 years not been able to deliver justice or provoke a national debate, even though five innocent citizens of the same country were picked up like lambs for slaughter," he said.
Sayeed said, "The challenge before us is to end double standards when it comes to enforcing law in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country. The sooner we do that, the easier it will be to resolve Kashmir tangle."
He claimed that incidents like Pathribal were continuing to take place in Jammu and Kashmir, citing killing of four people allegedly by border security force (BSF) in Gool area of Ramban district.
Though an enquiry has been promised into the Gool incident and a court martial ordered in Macchil fake encounters, the Army verdict in Pathribal has reduced the confidence of people in any such exercises, he said.
Central bureau of investigation (CBI) had in 2006 indicted five army personnel for staging the Pathribal encounter while giving a clean chit to state police.
After it was handed over the case in January, 2003, CBI alleged that officers and jawans of the Seven Rashtriya Rifles-Brig Ajay Saxena, lt col Brahendra Pratap Singh, Maj Saurabh Sharma, Maj Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan-had staged a fake encounter and killed five innocent civilians whom they said were terrorists involved in an attack on Sikhs at Chittisinghpora in south Kashmir.
Five people were killed on March 26, 2000 at Pathribal in South Kashmir.