Jammu/New Delhi: The Supreme Court rap on the Army in the alleged fake encounter in Pathribal in Jammu and Kashmir prompted Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday to say that the need for partial revocation of the controversial AFSPA in the state has been brought back to focus.
    
Omar also regretted that justice has not been delivered even 12 years after the encounter in one of the travesties of justice system.

"This again calls into question the entire debate of Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) and the way in which it is implemented or the way it is used," he said, adding, "one of the travesties of our justice system is that 12 years down the line we have not been able to deliver justice."

Omar made these remarks a day after the Supreme Court told the Army to not "play with the courts" and stop taking recourse to the AFSPA to stall the prosecution in the Pathribal encounter case.

Seven people were gunned down allegedly by Army personnel on March 25, 2000 at Pathribal in south Kashmir.

They were branded as Lashker-e-Taiba(LeT) terrorists responsible for the killing of 36 Sikhs at Chittisingpura in the same district on the intervening night of March 19-20, 2000.

Omar also raised questions on the Army's stand in the case and said the state government was looking at the case closely. The J and K government is pushing for revocation of AFSPA from parts of the state while the Army has expressed strong objections.

The Army's stand is that its officers cannot be prosecuted for alleged fake encounter killings in Jammu and Kashmir and Assam without prior sanction. It has also denied that the Pathribal encounter was fake.

Union Minister and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah insisted that the Pathribal incident was a "fake encounter" and said all those responsible for it should be "chargesheeted" for killing innocent people.
   
"Yes, it was a fake encounter... All those who are responsible for having killed innocent people must be chargesheeted whether they are in the Army or they are civilians. You can't kill innocent people and say that I have got a certificate safety," Farooq Abdullah told reporters in Delhi.
     
He was asked if the Army should allow the prosecution of its officers in the wake of the apex court observations.

"Whether you are the highest or the lowest, you have to pay price for your actions," he said.

(Agencies)