Mohammad Shafi Lone

On 28 April 2010, Shazad Ahmad Khan, 27; Riyaz Ahmad Lone, 20; and Mohammad Shafi Lone, 19, travelled to Machil, an area close to the Pakistani border about three hours from their homes, on the promise of work from a man named Bashir Ahmad Lone who lived in their village.

– They never came back.

The next morning, all three families approached Bashir Ahmad Lone to ask about their sons’ whereabouts. He denied he had taken them to Machil the previous day. The next day, there was a report in the media that said that the army had killed three infiltrators in a fake encounter.

The families began to suspect that the militants reported in the newspaper were in fact their sons. They approached Baramulla police station and registered a case against Bashir Ahmad Lone. The police began investigations into the case and filed charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder against 11 persons: two villagers, and nine army personnel (including three officers) which they submitted to the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Sopore, Baramulla District, on 15 July 2010.

However, the Indian army refused to produce the accused army personnel for either the purposes of investigation, or in court. Instead, on 10 July 2010, the army notified the Superintendent of Police, Sopore, that a military investigation (Court of Inquiry) was being conducted, and that the “provisions of Army Rule 180 have been invoked in this case as the character and military reputation is at stake/affected. These witnesses will however be made available to the police authorities for the investigation within Army premises.”

On 27 May 2011, the army filed a revision petition before the District and Sessions Court, Baramulla, challenging the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s order of 15 July 2010 seeking the production of the eight army personnel accused in the case.

On 4 July 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court reversed the decisions of the lower courts, and allowed the army to court-martial nine of its accused soldiers. According to media reports, the army began court-martial proceedings on 30 April 2013. As of 25 December 2013, the army was conducting a pre-trial procedure called the “summary of evidence” before proceeding to the trial. As of 2 February 2014 when the case was last reported on in the media, the court-martial hearings were said to be still ongoing. No further information became available until media reports on 13 November 2014 stated that five army personnel, including two officers, had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

THE PETITION

Fifteen Kashmiri families who lost their loved ones in cases of human rights violations by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are urging the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defense to ensure the right to truth for victims, their families and affected communities and ensure that they have access to full disclosure about human rights violations. The families want both the ministries to:

1. Make informartion available related to all 15 cases highlighted by Amnesty International India on this digital platform.

2. Make information pertaining to the proceedings, verdicts and sentences of courts-martial and security force courts publicly accessible including through the Right to Information Act, 2005 and by other means including an online database

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