Military tribunal granted bail and stayed life term of five army soldiers convicted of killing three civilians in a staged gunfight in 2010- the Machhil fake encounter on the grounds that the victims were “terrorists because they wore Pathan suits.”
“The fact that the accused persons were terrorists… cannot be ruled out because they were wearing Pathan suits which are worn by terrorists,” the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT), said in its bail order, reported Hindustan Times.
In the year 2010, three civilians were killed in a staged encounter by armed forces looking to collect a bounty on militants.
The staged gun battle was later exposed by the state police after the families of the victims filed a missing report.
An army court sentenced six soldiers, including a colonel, to life in jail but five of them went into appeal before the AFT in New Delhi.
“There was absolutely no justification for a civilian to be present at such a forward formation near LoC, that too during the night when infiltration from across the border was high,” the AFT bench said, justifying its decision of granting bail.
The three men killed were identified as, Shazad Khan (27), Shafi Lone (19) and Riyaz Lone (20) and were killed on April 30, 2010, at Sona Pindi in Machil sector of the LoC.