SRINAGAR: The Indian Army has claimed to have initiated disciplinary action against an undisclosed number of personnel following an investigation into the killing of three youths in Occupied Kashmir as suspected militants.
According to the report, a defence spokesman said the evidence showed that the soldiers had exceeded their powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives the army broad powers, including the power to shoot.
In July, the Indian military claimed to have killed three people in an operation against alleged militants in Shopian district of occupied Kashmir.
On the other hand, the families of the victims said that the security forces had shot the youths in public.
In addition, the Indian military says it is still investigating the deaths of those linked to militant groups.
Srinagar-based defence spokesman Rajesh Kalia said that the inquiry has uncovered some preliminary evidence which shows that the authority under the AFSPA 1990 was violated during the operation.
He said that as a result, the competent authority directed that disciplinary action be initiated against them under the Army Act.
Indian troops stationed in Kashmir by New Delhi have long been accused of violating their authority in occupied Kashmir and engaging in extrajudicial killings.
The three dead were cousins who the military claimed were “Pakistani terrorists”.
They were killed by Indian forces in an operation in the South Kashmir Valley on July 18 and was buried in a remote border area.
But their family, who identified their bodies through photos on social media, said they were local labourers.
The incident sparked outrage in occupied Kashmir, with political groups, human rights activists and locals calling for an independent inquiry into the deaths.
Indian Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said the troops involved in the operation had “exceeded” their authority and “violated” the principles of military conduct in occupied Kashmir.
Rajesh Kalia added that “disciplinary action” would be taken against those responsible.
The military statement added that the police did not indicate that the dead were involved in “terrorism or related activities”.
Police usually accompany soldiers in such operations, although officials say this was not the case during the July operation.
The families of the victims said they were waiting for DNA tests that would prove they were local men.