Five army personnel including two officers will be released on bail after an armed forces tribunal suspended the life sentence given to them by a court martial for allegedly staging the killing of three Kashmiri men at Macchil in 2010, officials said. The Armed Forces Tribunal suspended the life sentence awarded to Colonel Dinesh Pathania, Captain Upendra, Havildar Devinder, Lance Naik Lakhmi and Lance Naik Arun Kumar and granted them bail, they said.
The five army personnel had approached the tribunal challenging the punishment given to them following court martial proceedings in 2014.
"It is a bold order by the tribunal. I am very happy. The order has shut misrepresentation in the case to a great extent," said senior lawyer Aman Lekhi, who represented Colonel Pathania at the tribunal.
The government had strongly opposed giving bail to the five army men. They will be released on bail either tomorrow or day after, said Lekhi.
Army sources said the tribunal has only suspended the life sentence and a final order is expected by it.
The encounter of the three civilians on the intervening night of April 29 and 30 in 2010 in Macchil sector in Jammu and Kashmir had triggered wide-spread outrage and violence in the state.