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Army chief doubts the legal system in J&K

Army chief, General V K Singh, has raised a question mark on the fairness of the legal system in Jammu & Kashmir over inquiry into the Machhil fake encounter. He said that the Army would conduct its own inquiry before reaching any conclusion. Three youths from Baramulla were killed in the Machhil fake encounter on the Line of Control on 12 May last year. In reply to a question why the army is opposed to civil trial of armymen in the fake encounter, he said “I don’t know how much you are aware of the legal system in the Valley. There are various pressures out there. You are aware of Mian Abdul Qayyum, who was president of the Bar Association and is now in detention. He has been rabidly anti-Indian.” Abdul Qayyum, president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association, is presently in custody under the Public Safety Act. He is said to have led the anti-security forces protests over the Shopian rape and murder case in the year 2009.

On the reduction of troops Union Home Secretary G K Pillai and the Army chief have their own versions. G K Pillai in an interview on 14 January, in New Delhi, said “The PM has already talked about the reduction of security forces. We have taken out most of the forces from Srinagar; 15 bunkers have been removed. In populated areas, security forces should be minimal. If you can manage with the local police that would be the ideal situation.” But Army chief during his annual media meet said, “We have deployed troops after analysing our requirements on the border and the LoC. Similarly, in the interior areas, to maintain peace, we have some troops. As of now, we do not feel we should reduce the numbers.”

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 3

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