Five armymen have been awarded life sentence for a staged shootout in 2010 in which three youths were killed in Machil area of Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, army sources said. Army sources said the five men, including two officers, were sentenced by "summary general court martial" but the sentence was subject to confirmation.
The five armymen were identified as Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havildar Devender, Lance Naik Lakhmi and Lance Naik Arun Kumar. The sources said the army does not take such instances lightly and justice was being delivered speedily after start of the court martial proceedings.
Shezad Ahmad, Muhammad Shafi and Riyaz Ahmad, all from Nadihal village in Baramulla district, were gunned down by the armymen near the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil May 3, 2010.
The army had then claimed that the youths were Pakistan-trained guerrillas who were killed while trying to infiltrate into the Kashmir Valley.
But when pictures of the slain youths were published in newspapers, their families and relatives identified them as three missing youths who had no connection with militancy. In the aftermath of the alleged staged shootout, protests and clashes with security forces erupted in the Kashmir Valley.