As the controversy over 30 July Machil encounter, where army claimed that it killed four militants who were crossing to Indian side of Kashmir territory, brews, Kashmir Dispatch obtained the pictures of four slain men. A leading Pakistan daily, The Express Tribune, on August 4, had claimed that the slain quartet who belonged to Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) were kidnapped by Indian army before being killed in Machil forests in northern part of Kashmir valley.
The four men were identified as Zafran Ghulam Sarwar, Shah Zaman, Muhammad Faisal and Wajid Akbar, who according to The Express Tribune “were plucking herbs near the Line of Control when they were kidnapped by Indian forces who entered the area”.
On 6 August, five Indian troopers were killed in Poonch sector near de-facto border by “heavily-armed men in the uniform of Pakistan army”. Many publications, including The Hindustan Times and Firstpost reported that attack might be in “retaliation to abduction” of four men from the Pakistan side of Line of Control (LoC).
A top police official, wishing anonymity, told Kashmir Dispatch, "Yes, it looks like fake. They (army) seem to have probably mistaken hunters for militants.”
“Local residents, who helped bury the bodies after they were handed over to local police through a special police officer attached to the army, said at least two of the men were wearing rubber flip-flops-again, unusual gear for men who had infiltrated mountain passes leading through the rugged Neelam valley,” Firsptpost.com reported, while quoting persons, who buried those slain “militants” killed by Army on 30 July in Machil.
Other police sources in Kashmir are raising doubts about the encounter.
Raising fingers, it reported, “You would expect terrorists to carry weapons like the AK-56″, a senior Jammu and Kashmir-based army officer said, “but I can’t understand what they’d be doing with a 12-bore gun, which is typically used for hunting small prey”.
In 2010, Kashmir witnessed mass uprising after it was discovered that Indian army had killed three innocent civilians of North Kashmir in a fake encounter in Machil sector near LoC after dubbing them as “militants”. The three had gone missing and a local Urdu daily published their pictures and they were later identified.
The Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police Ashok Prasad told local English daily Greater Kashmir that police can investigate the complaint on directions from the MHA “since the matter pertains to the Defence Ministry.” “If Pakistan lodges the protest at the diplomatic level, the complaint can be probed,” he said. “The matter (Machil complaint) is in our notice but we can’t probe it until that country takes up the matter on diplomatic level.”
Musk hunting takes place on other side of the area where the July 30 clash took place, he added.