Jammu and Kashmir to probe civilian killings

January 18th, 2011 - 1:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Jan 18 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government is determined to go by its own probe in last year’s civilian killings in the Machil sector of the Line of Control (LoC) despite the army’s declaration that it would investigate the charges.The state government, official sources told IANS, would be “depending on the conclusions of its own probe” and the “process would not be allowed to be interfered with by any observations to the contrary”.

Army chief Gen. V.K. Singh Friday voiced his reservations over the civilian probe and asserted that “the army would conduct its own probe into the matter”.

His comments were not liked by many in the state government, which had made the probe into the three civilian killings in a village near Sopore in Baramulla district in April last year as an example to show its commitment to preventing human rights excesses.

In the Machil sector incident, in the same month last year, three villagers were dubbed as terrorists and killed.

The army had claimed that they were infiltrators, but the police probe revealed that the three were “innocent villagers” and were lured for jobs by some of the middle-men, including a territorial army soldier.

The army officers, suspected of having stage-managed the gun battle, were alleged to have made money out of the killings - a charge that the army has vehemently denied.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah stirred a major controversy when he charged the army with acting as “judge and executioner” in such cases.

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