Loc Killings: Army begins court martial process

The Army has begun court martial proceedings in the alleged fake encounter killing of three youths on April 30 on the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Macchil sector.

The Army has officially sought the permission of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Sopore, Kausar Ahmad to record the statements of three of the accused who are currently in judicial custody Bahseer Ahmad, Abdul Hameed and Mohammad Abbas Shah under Section 135 of the Army Act.

Sources said the Army is collecting the summary of evidence to be used in the court martial. A Brigadier-level officer will be presiding over the proceedings.

The Army has already suspended Major Upender and attached the Commanding Officer of the unit, who have been questioned by an internal inquiry committee. It was on the recommendation of this committee that the court martial has been started.

So far, the CJM, Sopore, has recorded the statements of six persons, including the family members of the three youths killed in the alleged encounter Shezad Ahmad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Mohammad Shafi. Apart from the three in judicial custody, the police have detained the driver of the vehicle in which the three youths were allegedly taken to Kalaroos before the encounter. Police are seeking custody of some Army men in the case, but it is not yet clear whether they would be handed over.

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