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July 18 Shopian encounter: Family members of 3 missing youth from Rajouri demand DNA mapping of slain

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Shopian: The family members of three missing youth from Rajouri district of Jammu region on Monday demanded DNA mapping of the trio killed in the Shopian encounter on July 18 fearing that the slain may be their kin.

They said: “We are not sure whether their children are those killed in Shopian gunfight on July 18 but want to be sure through DNA cross-examinations.”

Three families from Rajouri district filed missing reports of their kin on Sunday at Peeri Police station Rajouri

A police official confirmed to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that family members of three youth namely Ibrar Ahmed son of Bagha, Imtiaz Ahmed S/o Sabir Hussain both  residents of PH Dhar (Kathuni) Rajouri and third one also Ibrar Ahmed son of M Yousuf resident of Tarkassi, Rajouri filed their missing report on Sunday.

Till July 17, the family members said all three were in touch with their parents.  “But on July 18 the phones of all three came as switched off,” a family member of one of the missing youth told KNO. “After failing to trace them, we lodged a missing report on Sunday at the concerned police station. Our demand now is that police chief DGP and IGP Kashmir should allow exhumation of bodies for DNA mapping. We are ready for cross examinations of the samples. The photographs of the slain that have gone viral suggest trio are our children.”

Defence Spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the army has noted social media inputs linked to the operation at Shopian on July 18.  “The three militants killed during the operation have not been identified and the bodies were buried based on the established protocols. Army is investigating the matter,” he said.

On July 18, J&K police in a statement had said that three unidentified militants were killed in village Amshipora area of District Shopian

“The bodies of the killed militants were sent to Baramulla for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including the collection of their DNA and in case any family claims the killed militants to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification and participation in last rites at Baramulla,” it read.

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