Srinagar, July 26: Ghulam Mohammad Khan, 55, father of one of 2010 Machil fake encounter victims, Shehzad Ahmad, on Wednesday morning woke up to a distressing phone call to hear that five army men held guilty for his son’s killing were likely to walk free after a military court suspended their life sentence and grants bail to them.
“The news sent shivers down my spine,” Khan told Rising Kashmir.
He said the army men, who were found guilty of killing his son and two others, should be punished and not walk free.
“Our sons were killed by troops in Machil fake encounter. The government should compensate us in the form of murder for murder. Then only we can survive,” Khan said adding, “Under no circumstances, the guilty army men should be granted bail”.
“It should not happen. Otherwise we will kill ourselves on roads. We will hang ourselves if guilty army men were not punished,” he said.
On April 30, 2010, Shahzad Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Shafi Lone and Riyaz Ahmad Lone, all residents of Nadihal in north Kashmir Baramulla district, were lured to work for the Army on the promise of high wages. They were later killed in a fake encounter and passed off as foreign militants trying to sneak in from the Machil sector along the Line of Control. Their bodies were exhumed on May 28, 2010 and later it came to fore that trio was killed in a fake encounter.
The controversial killings had triggered summer unrest in Valley in which over 100 people were killed in forces action. The sequence of protests and political outrage also led to calls for scrapping the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
Another victim Riyaz Ahmad’s father Mohammad Yousuf Lone, also expressed strong dismay over the military court’s unsatisfactory decision and questioned government’s way of delivering justice to them.
“I heard that troops are being freed. How can they be freed? Can they free our sons who were martyred by them,” he said.
Lone, who was joined by another victim Mohammad Shafi’s father Abdul Rashid, said, “It is betrayal with justice. The army men were convicted in killing of our wards and they should not be set free.”
“They killed our sons, and then they were arrested and jailed. Now government is freeing them. What will happen to justice,” he said.
Lone said they will be forced to take an extreme step if guilty troops were not punished.

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