Separatists in Kashmir on Thursday described the army’s Machil encounter verdict against five soldiers “a good beginning only if justice in other similar rights abuse cases is delivered”.
“It’s very positive. We welcome it but the real test lies in the fact if justice is done in other cases like Gaw Kadal and Hawal massacres that left more than 100 dead. It’s good to make troops accountable,” moderate Hurriyat spokesman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told HT.
An advocate of creating conducive atmosphere in Kashmir by revoking laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Mirwaiz said: “It’s too early to read any political message in it. We hope the army verdict does not have polls in mind. The government has to prove its seriousness”.
The army earlier announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to two youth killed in its firing in Budgam district on November 3 and admitted “it was a mistake”.
But hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani sees a “design” in the army moves.
“The elections are round the corner. There is political design in the sudden army magnanimity. India was never serious in delivering justice in Kashmir. Then it should do justice in hundreds of other such cases.”
Human rights champions reacted cautiously to the verdict.