The army`s northern command GOC on Monday confirmed the life sentence awarded to six army personnel, including a colonel-rank officer, by a general court martial in the 2012 Machil fake encounter case, an army official said.
“General Officer Commanding in Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda has confirmed the sentence of a Summary General Court Martial in the Machil encounter case,” Colonel S.D. Goswami, spokesman of the army`s Udhampur-based Northern Command, told IANS here.
“Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havildar Devendra Kumar, Lance Naik Lakhmi, Lance Naik Arun Kumar and Rifleman Abbas Hussain have been awarded life imprisonment,” he said.
In April 2012, the army had claimed killing three guerrillas in Machil sector on the Line of Control in Kupwara district during an infiltration bid.
There was a public outcry after photographs of those killed in the alleged encounter were released, as relatives and neighbours of the slain persons claimed that the three civilians were framed and killed in a stage managed gunfight and they were not connected with militancy in any way.
Police investigations later proved the three civilians were lured with promises of jobs and taken to the border where they were killed in a fake encounter for money and rewards.
The army later ordered a general court martial that found the six army personnel guilty.