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Victim families demand open trial, shifting of the court to Kashmir
SHABIR AHMAD
SRINAGAR, Sep 14 : The families of the victims of Pathribal fake encounter who were

summoned by the army yesterday to attend the court martial proceedings of the accused soldiers on September 20 at Nagrota today said that they cannot attend the army court outside the valley. They also demanded that the proceedings be held in open.

“We are very much apprehensive about the trial being held in army court outside the valley that too in closed door. We can attend the court only if the trial is held in Srinagar or any other nearby security camp in the valley that too in open,” said Abdul Rashid Khan,

son of one of one of the deceased, Jumma Khan.

He demanded that the media should be allowed to cover the proceedings of the court.

“Since the incident took place, my mother starts shivering at the sight of an army man. So how is it possible for her to attend the closed door trial in the army court. If army is sincere they should conduct the trial in the valley that too in openly allowing all the media persons to cover the proceedings,” he said.

Shakoor Khan, son of the another victim, Jumma Khan, expressing apprehensions about the proceedings of the court martial said, “The army has asked us to bring along the material also but we fail to understand what material with regard to the incident should we produce

before the army court. There was only a ring of my father, identity card and Patka of his other name sake victim which we had produced before the then deputy commissioner. All these things are making us apprehensive.”

He further said that besides holding of the open trial in Kashmir they should be provided a counsel who can accompany them to the court for translation of their statements.

Expressing displeasure over the trial being held in Nagrota, a noted criminal lawyer, Muneer Ahmad Shawl, who was counsel for the victims in the civil court, said that the venue of the court martial proceedings in the interest of justice should have been in valley instead of Nagrota. “The family members of the victims are very much apprehensive about the trial in the army court. The wives of the two victims are ailing and aged and it is too difficult for them to attend the court martial at a far off place from their home. It would have been better in the interest of justice if the venue of the court is

changed from Nagrota to Kashmir,” Shawl said.

Criticising the army for asking the families of the victims to bring the relevant material along as amazing, Shawl said, “ Nobody among the people summoned by the army is witness to the occurrence of the incident. They know only one thing that their family members were

picked up by the uniformed men and later killed in a forest after which army claimed that they have killed the foreign militants involved in Chattisingpora massacre. So one fails to understand what relevant material the people having been summoned can produce before

the army court.”

He said that even the Justice Pandian Commission formed to probe the Brakpora firing in which seven people who were protesting against the Pathribal incident concluded that the Chattisingpora massacre, Pathribal fake encounter and Brakpora firing incident were

interconnected.

Meanwhile, police said that they are ready to provide security to the families of the victims for attending the army court in Nagrota. “If the families approach seeking security we will surely provide. But none of the families so far has come to us for the purpose,” said SSP Anantnag R K Jala.


News Updated at : Saturday, September 15, 2012
 
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