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Shopian ‘suspicious encounter’: Police to carry out DNA sampling

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NC may file habeas corpus petition; PC says, this is the result of culture of impunity; Cong demands probe

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police has decided to carry out DNA sampling of families from Rajouri who had claimed that three persons killed in a Shopian encounter and branded as terrorists, were their missin kin.

“Taking cognisance of the claim by the families and media reports, Shopian Police will examine the claimants and carry out DNA sampling for matching purpose. Besides identification, Police will also investigate all other aspects as per the law in due course of time,” a statement issued by the police today said.

The statement further said that District Police Rajouri have been approached by some families yesterday claiming that their kins had gone to Shopian for labour work and contacted on phone on 17th July. As per families when they didn’t contacted them after 17th July they lodged missing report at PP Peeru on 10/8/2020.

Meanwhile Social media reported that the terrorists killed in an operation at Shopian on 18.07.2020 are reportedly their kins, said the police statement.

“Apropos to our earlier press note regarding the said operation, Police had provided sufficient time for identification of dead bodies at PCR Kashmir Srinagar. However, the dead bodies could not be identified and they were buried in presence of Magistrate after conducting post-mortem and lifting DNA samples,” the statement said.

It further said that the army has also taken notice of the family and social media claims regarding the said operation and initiated investigations.

Meanwhile, National Conference today expressed grave concern over disappearance of three Rajouri youths, saying this has caused  a  lot of distress and anguish in the entire belt.

In a joint statement, issued from Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this afternoon, senior National Conference leaders headed by Provincial President Devender Singh Rana urged the administration to mobolise the police for tracing the missing boys earnestly and let their families know about their welfare and whereabouts.

The leaders took note of various versions making rounds and hoped the police will come up with the facts to dispel all the apprehensions. They also constituted a two member team of the party functionaries, comprising Advocate Choudhry Liaqat and Adv Muzaffar Ahmed Khan, to explore all the legal options and if need be file a habeas corpus petition in the High Court about disappearance of the missing youth.

Jammu and Kashmir People Conference Chairman, Sajad Gani Lone tweeted: “The encounter in Shopian is yet again an ugly reminder of the fake nature of claims made by security forces. This is the result of culture of impunity. The tolerance of such incidents in the rest of the country is scary. Not a word has been uttered.”

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of Congress on Tuesday demanded an independent probe into the alleged encounter killing of three “militants” in Shopian district last month after some families lodged a written complaint saying as many of their members involved in labour work were missing from the same area.

The army has already initiated an inquiry into the alleged encounter carried out by its troops after the complaints were received from the families residing in Jammu region’s Rajouri.

On July 18, the army had claimed three militants were killed in the higher reaches of Shopian in south Kashmir. However, no further details were shared.

“The circumstances demand immediate statement of facts by the authorities regarding the mystery of their death and an independent probe into the circumstances in view of the controversy so that rule of law prevails,” Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief spokesperson Ravider Sharma said.

He said the government must come out with a detailed statement about the death of three young boys, whose family members claim that they had no connection with any unlawful activity and had gone for work to Shopian.

The controversy started after the families filed a complaint with a police station in Rajouri stating that their three members were missing since July 17 from Ashimpora area of Shopian where they were working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards.

The families, who filed the police complaint jointly, gave pictures of their kin — Mohammed Ibrar (21), Ibrar Ahmad (18) and Imtiaz Ahmad (26) — which were subsequently shared with the Kashmir police for investigation.

The relatives of the youths, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in Kotranka of Rajouri area, lodged the missing report with the local police after they failed to contact the trio and news of an encounter came on July 18 from Ashimpora in Shopian.

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