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NC, PDP demand impartial probe into Lawaypora killings

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AP asks government to clear the air and remove the misgivings about encounter

Srinagar: National Conference Member Parliament Justice (retd.) Hassnain Masoodi on Thursday sought an impartial investigation into the Lawaypora encounter and impressed on the government to clear the ambiguities leading to the killing of three youth.

Masoodi while demanding an impartial probe into the killings said the stated version of the police was “far from convincing and ambiguous”.

“The police version is not convincing and clear-cut; it is an admitted case of police that none of the three youth in their early twenties were in the militant list; two of the youth are admitted not to have been involved in militant activities and said to be OGWs. In the case of a third boy, who is 20-years-old, it is said that he ‘might have joined militant ranks’. The statement joined together is far from convincing and lends support to the version of families of the slain trio that they were innocent and not involved in any militant activity,” he said.

He asked the govt to recall the Shopian killing and subsequent findings that those killed were innocent and had come all the way from Rajouri to earn livelihoods and continue their studies.

Masoodi demanded thorough investigation into the issue and return of bodies of slain youth to their families so that their last rites are performed by their families at their respective places.

Masoodi said the matter warrants time-bound inquiry as the versions of the family and the police are contradictory.

“The version of the family in wake of the ambiguous version of police seems to be nearer to the truth. Therefore, it becomes imperative upon the government to come clean on the matter. In previous Shopian killings, the boys were found innocent. I express my deep sympathies and unison with the bereaved families and pray forbearance to them in their hour of grief,” he said.

In a press release here, NC said Masoodi also spoke to Principal Secretary Home Shaleen Kabra and demanded a probe into the matter. He will take up the matter with LG Manoj Sinha and Advisor Home to RR Batnagar.

Apni Party president Mohammad Altaf Bukhari also expressed deep concern over the family inputs of three slain youth, saying it has created misgivings about the veracity of Lawaypora encounter.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari demanded that the J&K government should clear the facts about the credentials of the three slain youth while taking into consideration the testimonials given by their respective families.

“The version of families of the slain trio is contradictory to what the army and the police claim about the encounter. So the government must clear the air and remove the misgivings about the same,” he demanded.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claimed that three youth who were killed in a Lawaypora encounter yesterday were “innocent” and demanded that an impartial ‘probe’ to ascertain facts.

PDP general secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said that a thorough and impartial probe be ordered into to the killings.

“The families of three youth have contested police and army’s version asserting that their kin were innocent and killed in a fake encounter. So far as the victim families’ version is concerned, I think the trio was innocent and a thorough probe be ordered to ascertain facts,” Hanjura told reporters here.

Hanjura also demanded restoration of the pre-August 05, 2019 position of Jammu and Kashmir in its original form, asserting that Article 370 cannot be replaced with ‘Article 371’ as was demanded by party’s former patron Muzaffar Hussain Baig.

Reacting to the Biag’s statement that Centre should apply Article 371 in Jammu and Kashmir, Hanjura said the lost status of the erstwhile state cannot be replaced with substitutes.

He said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has to ‘return’ whatever was snatched away from the people of Jammu and Kashmir on August 05, 2019. The PDP leader said that his party stance on restoration of Article 370 is firm.

“It may be Baig Sahab’s personal opinion, but PDP’s stance on Article 370 is firm and clear; we don’t support Article 371 to be applied in Jammu and Kashmir as the Article 370 which was abrogated on August 05, 2019 cannot be replaced,” Hanjura said.

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