ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Army's Subversion of Justice

The Pathribal verdict only shows that the impunity of the Indian Army has grown.

The decision of the Indian Army to drop all charges against its officers accused of orchestrating and carrying out the cold-blooded murder of civilians in Pathribal (Kashmir) in March 2000 has been shocking, even by the cynical standards of the Indian security establishment. It is not just that innocent civilians were killed in a fake encounter, which is all too common among our police and armed forces. That the army can nonchalantly close a case for “want of evidence” when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court that the killings were “cold-blooded murders” and that the army officers involved should be given “exemplary punishment” shows that there is really no civilian control over India’s armed forces. They have the insolence and impunity to kill any citizen on their whims and fancies and nothing can, or will, be done by anyone!

What Pathribal shows once again is that this insolence and impunity of India’s armed forces and police is structural to the “system”, a much used appellation of our times. What is particularly alarming is that this impunity of India’s security establishment seems only to be increasing with time. Despite media exposes and even the establishment of prima facie guilt by India’s premier investigation agency (in the case of Pathribal), the armed forces manage to escape even the most minimal punishment.

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