Cops Reject Kashmir Staged-killing Claim30 November 2010
Srinagar: Jammu & Kashmir police rejected claims from a National Conference politician and separatists that the killing of three men at Qamarwari in Srinagar on Monday was a fake encounter. Police said the trio was part of a Jaish-e-Mohammad module involved in the killing of two CRPF men in Pattan on November 10. The encounter had raised a chorus of protest, with separatists and mainstream parties demanding that the incident be investigated. Leading the charge was National Conference MP from Baramulla, Sharief-ud-din Shariq, who called the killings cold-blooded murder. One of the three slain youths, Arshid Bashir, was Shariq’s relative. The MP also demanded the arrest of policemen involved in the encounter. Shariq’s demand was supported by the separatist outfit Jamaat-e-Islami, which praised him for speaking the “truth despite being a member of parliament”. “The incident needs to be thoroughly probed by an independent judicial commission. This episode [encounter] looks questionable as available information regarding the civilian victims indicate their innocence,” Zahid Ali, spokesperson of Jamaat-e-Islami, said. Leader of the opposition and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti too expressed doubts about the encounter. “This is another attempt to tarnish Kashmir’s image. Even some leaders from the ruling party have questioned the so-called encounter in Srinagar,” she said. However, the director-general of police (DGP), Kuldeep Khoda, rubbished the allegations, saying the police cannot control people’s thoughts. “They [militants] were working as a Jaish module headed by Guru. Bashir’s rented house was being used as a hideout,” he said. The DGP said Guru had gone for training across the border in 1991 and returned in 1994. “He was working as a battalion commander of the JeM outfit in Sopore. He was associated with Shoaib alias Yasir, Pakistan’s Jaish commander. He was arrested and booked under PSA in 2007 and released in 2008. He was categorised as a category ‘A’ JeM militant in 2009”, he said. Hajam, 30, was a locally-trained militant with the Al-Badar outfit. “The militant was working as a teacher, but he left his job two months back,” he said. Bashir, a student from the Degree College at Bemina, had close links with terrorist bodies,” he said.