Four years back a fake encounter by five military men that had triggered nationwide outrage with sporadic violence had caused irreparable damage to the prestige of Indian Army. In a never before strictest action and to safeguard its image, the army through a rare & historic court martial verdict has sentenced them befittingly to life imprisonment for gunning down three innocent youths of Kashmir who were dubbed as "PAKISTANI MILITANTS" trying to cross LoC by these criminals. However the judgment is yet to be endorsed by Lt. General Mr. D S Hooda to complete its legal process.
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Nobody had imagined justice would be delivered at such a fast pace because the faith in institution had disappeared over the period. In appreciation, Jammu & Kashmir, CM Omar Abdullah has quoted it as watershed moment in his tweet.
These accused whose crimes with complicity of couple of locals had shamed the entire nation are colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra Singh, Hawalda Devinder and Lance Naikes Lakhmi and Arun kumar. They have been pulled off military services, stripped of their designations and pension benefits as well.
It may be recalled that on April 29th, 2010 these innocent young men were lured by these culprits on the pretext of jobs being available for them as army porters. They were shot dead in cold blood near border at the encounter spot by the soldiers of 4 Rajput Regiment. The investigation exposed the conspiracy and exonerated one officer and two soldiers but two civilians are yet to face trial who had helped them. It is important to mark here that Army's process to dispense justice is much faster compared to civilian courts. Ten other from the battalion have also been penalized according to the gravity of their offence in the case.
This ruthless killing reminds us of the dark period of Indian Army when the performance of Army Battalion was adjudged on the number of militant killings.
In 2000 in a similar case four officers and a soldier were accused of killing five civilians in Anantnag district but they weren't punished due to lack of evidence.
It is meritorious to mention here that recently in another incident of accidental killing of two boys on November 3rd, 2014 by Indian soldiers, the Indian army was criticized heavily by the media and local people. I sincerely hope this kind of harsh judgment would serve as a deterrent for others and would save many innocent lives in the valley.