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Indian army indicts soldiers in killing of suspected Kashmir militants

A Kashmiri demonstrator throws a tear-gas canister fired by Indian police during a protest after a gun battle between suspected militants and Indian security forces in Srinagar September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

SRINAGAR, India – The Indian army launched disciplinary proceedings against an unspecified number of soldiers following an inquiry into the killing of three suspected militants in the northern state of Kashmir, the army said on Friday.

A defence spokesman said evidence showed soldiers had exceeded their powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which grants the army broad authority including shoot-to-kill powers.

In July the army said it had killed the three men in an operation against militants in the Shopian district of Kashmir.

The families of the slain men said security forces had killed them in cold blood. The army said it was still investigating the dead men’s ties to militant groups.

“The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded,” Rajesh Kalia, a Srinagar-based defence spokesman, said.

“Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable.”

Reuters

September 18, 2020

Writing by Neha Arora; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://in.reuters.com/article/india-kashmir/indian-army-indicts-soldiers-in-killing-of-suspected-kashmir-militants-idINKBN2692JE

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