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Probe into Shopian ‘fake’ encounter in final stages: DGP

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Says LeT commander responsible for attacks on security forces killed in Samboora; Babar Qadri murder case will be cracked soon

Srinagar: The investigation into an alleged fake encounter in Shopian, in which three men from Rajouri district were killed, is in the final stages, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said on Monday.

“The SSP, Shopian is himself monitoring the investigation process of the case and further details about the case will be shared very soon. Our investigations are in the final stage,” the DGP told reporters at District Police Lines (DPL) Awantipora in Pulwama district.

He said both the Army and the police are investigating the case, but refused to share further details.

Security forces had claimed to have killed three militants in an encounter in Shopian’s Amshipora on July 18, but three families from Rajouri said the slain men might be their missing members.

DNA tests were conducted and the results, made available after 40 days, showed that the slain men were in fact the missing persons from Rajouri.

The Army, in a statement earlier this month, admitted that the powers vested in the soldiers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) were “prima facie exceeded” in the Amshipora encounter.

Singh said the investigators have got some clues in the case related to the killing of a lawyer in the Hawal area of the city last week.

“We have managed to get some clues about the (advocate) Babar Qadri case and hopefully, very soon the Jammu and Kashmir Police will be able to crack it. We have already constituted an SIT in this regard and a probe is on,” he added.

Briefing the media on Sunday’s encounter at Samboora, the DGP said killing Ajaz Reshi and his close aide was a “big success” for the forces as Reshi was the main recruiter for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and “had pushed a number of youngsters to its ranks”.

Dilbag Singh also said one of the two militants killed in a gunfight in Samboora area of Pampore was responsible for several deadly attacks on security forces in Pampore area.

Ajaz Reshi was working as an Over Ground Worker (OGW) in 2015 and joined militancy before Burhan Wani, Singh told reporters.

He said Aijaz was a “dangerous militant” who carried out deadly attacks on security forces, inflicting heavy casualties. “He took part in an attack at EDI Pampore in which eight CRPF men were killed. He had transported the Lashkar men to the spot as well. At Kadlabal, Pampore, he had fired at an army party killing three soldiers. He had taken part in a series of attacks on security forces,” the DGP said.

He said that two AK-47 rifles, two magazines, some rounds, and incriminating material was recovered from the site of the gunfight that also left an aide of Aijaz dead.

The DGP also said every possible effort is being made to bring back the “misguided youngsters” and added that 24 youngsters have been brought back from militant ranks this year with the active cooperation of their parents.

In Srinagar, the grid is firmly in place as seven successful operations have been carried out in the city this year, the DGP said.

“The city is on the radar of Pakistan and terror outfits sponsored by it as terror groups are trying to find a foothold in the city. However, police and the forces are alive to the situation,” he added.

The DGP appealed to people not to provide shelter to militants.

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