The Pathribal fake encounter case is inching towards justice, albeit slowly. This was the cautious reaction of the families of the men killed 12 years ago — allegedly by the army — to the SC direction on encounter killing cases.
“The truth is finally coming to the fore, but justice is not served till the culprits are handed exemplary punishment,” said Shakoor Ahmad, 38, son of victim Juma Khan. “The case needs to be tried in a criminal court.”
“Over the last one decade, we have suffered a lot. It was a well-planned, cold-blooded murder of innocent civilians,” said Abdul Rasheed Khan, 34, son of namesake victim Juma Khan.
The CBI had also argued before the court that the killings “were cold-blooded murders”.
But on Tuesday, the SC said the army has to decide whether the officers will face criminal trial or be court-martialled.
“We hope the culprits will not be shielded any more. The killings were carried out for rewards by those supposed to be protectors,” said Ahmad.
The other five families have refused to talk to the media, expressing indifference to the court’s direction.