J&K encounters: Army promises cooperation in probe

With Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah voicing doubts on all encounters and vowing to probe these, Army on Saturday promised full cooperation and action against the guilty.

Updated: Jun 05, 2010, 19:00 PM IST

New Delhi: With Jammu and Kashmir Chief
Minister Omar Abdullah voicing doubts on all encounters and
vowing to probe these, Army on Saturday promised full cooperation
and action against the guilty but insisted on the necessity of
special powers for security forces for "legal protection".

"We will fully cooperate in all investigations," a senior
Army official said here.

Insisting that the "Army follows a policy of zero
tolerance for human rights violations", he said, "action will
certainly be taken against violations of the code of conduct
set for personnel operating in areas where Armed Forces
Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in force."

His reaction came after Abdullah said that after the
controversy over Machil encounter killing of three people,
there were doubts over all the encounters that have taken
place, even upto eight years back.

Abdullah has promised to investigate all these.

"The Army will remain transparent in the encounters," the
army official said.

With regard to the AFSPA in which Abdullah wants changes,
the Army official said when the armed forces are sent for
handling an internal security situation, they need the
"legal protection" under the AFSPA to carry out their
operations effectively.

He, however, added that since the demand for changes in
AFSPA had been made by the state Chief Minister, it was for
the political leadership to take a decision on it.

The Machhil encounter has been shrouded in a controversy
after complaints that some Army personnel killed three
innocent youth near the Line of Control on April 30 labelling
them as terrorists.

The state police has arrested one Army man and a case has
been filed against a Major in connection with the encounter.

PTI