J&K govt exploring legal options to reopen Pathribal case
The Jammu and Kashmir government is exploring legal options to challenge the Army's recent verdict on the Pathribal fake encounter case.
The Army, on January 23, had closed its probe in the case after acquitting five accused soldiers, saying the evidence recorded could not establish prima facie charges against any of them. This was in spite of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) holding them guilty.
State chief minister Omar Abdullah had, on January 24, hinted that his government would file a review on the verdict, immediately after the news about the closure of case was made public.
In an interview to a national news channel, Abdullah said on Tuesday, "The Army has said that they don't have enough (evidence) to proceed with the court martial. I hope the Indian government recognises that the Army's decision has not gone down well. This is a matter which is currently in front of the Supreme Court as well. The AFSPA argument will come up again. The CBI has found evidence, how can the Army say that they cannot accept this?"
According to reports, the state home department has asked the law department to get relevant documents about the case. The documents, according to police sources, have been submitted to the authorities concerned.
Meanwhile, in a closure report submitted to the Srinagar chief judicial magistrate, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 16 Corps Lt gen DS Hooda had blamed the Jammu and Kashmir police for the encounter. The report says that the Pathribal operation was jointly launched by the police and the Army after a 'tip-off' by the police.