In a major verdict, seven Indian army personnel including a Major General were sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvement in a fake encounter case that had taken place in Assam in 1994. Netizens have been wondering if similar actions will also be taken in Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur?
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In 1994, the manager of tea estate was killed by Ulfa militants and defence personnel from 18 Punjab Regiment of the Indian Army arrested nine youths for their role in the killing. Allegedly, five students leaders were killed by the Indian Army in a fake encounter stamping them as Ulfa militants while four others were released in the jungle by threatening them at the gunpoint.
The then All Assam Students’ Union Leader Jagadish Bhuyan filed a Habeas Corpus petition in the Gauhati High court seeking to know the details of these youths. The High Court ordered the Indian Army to produce the nine AASU leaders at the nearest police station. Later, the army produced five bodies at the Dholla Police Station.
Investigation of the case was later handed over to CBI, which charge-sheeted seven Army men as guilty. The Gauhati High Court has asked the Army to go for court-martial, which was challenged by the Army in the Supreme Court.
On being asked by the Supreme Court the Army started the process of holding the Summary General Court Martial (SGCM) of the encounter on July 16 and concluded the process on July 27.
“Justice is finally delivered in the nefarious Dangari encounter case where five innocent youths were killed. The verdict of the court martial yesterday once again brought to the fore the neutrality of Indian Army. It has proved that one must have faith in Indian judicial system, democracy and the discipline and neutrality of an Institution like Indian Army,” said Jagadish Bhuyan, who has been fighting the case for last 24 years.