August 2020 News
Shopian 'Fake Encounter': Police To Conduct DNA Tests Of Slain Youth11 August 2020
Srinagar: A day after three families from Rajouri claimed their three kin were killed in a stage managed gunfight in Shopian last month; the Jammu and Kashmir police said on Tuesday that DNA sampling of the alleged militants will be done for matching purpose and other aspects will be probed as per the law. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, a police spokesperson said that some families have approached Rajouri police claiming that their kin had gone to Shopian for labour work and contacted on phone on 17th July. He said the families lodged missing report at police post Peeru on August 10, after the boys, according to the families remained out of contact. 'Meanwhile social media reported that the terrorists killed in an operation at Shopian on 18-07-2020 are reportedly their kin. Police had provided sufficient time for identification of bodies at PCR Kashmir Srinagar. However, the bodies could not be identified and they were buried in presence of Magistrate after conducting post-mortem and lifting DNA samples,' the police spokesperson said. He said taking note of the claim by the families and the 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,' the police spokesperson said. 'Meanwhile, Army has also taken notice of the family and social media claims regarding the said operation and initiated investigations,' he added. Pertinently, Abrar Ahmed Khan, Abrar Yousuf Chouhan and Imtiyaz Hussain, all residents of Dhar Sakri village of Qotranka in Rajouri went missing on July 17 in south Kashmir's Shopian district, a day before police claimed to have killed three unidentified militants in a joint operation with army and CRPF. On Monday, three families from Rajouri claimed that the three alleged militants killed in Shopian were their kin and had been shot dead in a 'stage managed encounter' by the state forces. The claims by the families triggered outrage on social media, even as many mainstream parties and Hurriyat on Tuesday called for an independent probe into the incident. Advisor to Lieutenant Governor; Farooq Ahmed Khan on Tuesday rubbished the claims of last month's Shopian encounter as being fake and gave clean chit to the state forces saying that 'rumours' of staged gunfight were being spread to disturb peace in Kashmir valley. 'Some people call Shopian encounters a staged or fake encounter on social media to deteriorate the situation in Kashmir. I guess these rumours are being spread to deteriorate the situation in Kashmir. We will defeat all the conspiracies of those who want to deteriorate the situation in Kashmir,' Khan, according to news agency KNS told reporters at Dak Bungalow in south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Tuesday. However, the former police officer said that there were some reports about three missing persons which will be thoroughly investigated to make everything clear. Khan's comments come a day after three families from Rajouri claimed that three of their kin have been killed in a 'stage managed encounter' by government forces in Shopian district on July 18. The claims of Rajouri families also prompted army and police to order a probe into the incident. Regarding the recent militant attack on panchayat members, Khan said security grid will not only ensure that attack on Sarpanchs and Panchs are stopped but will ensure punishment to the attackers. 'These Sarpanchs had fought elections on non-party basis and want development for their villages,' he said. Expressing concern over the reports of fake encounter of three Rajouri youth in south Kashmir's Shopian district last month, Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Tuesday said that Indian army has brought back painful memories of Pathribal and Macchil fake encounters with this incident. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, a Hurriyat spokesperson said that staged killings, torture and disappearances are the result of heavy militarisation of J&K and the complete immunity which the armed forces enjoy from law and accountability for over three decades. Due to the alleged impunity, he said tens of thousands of Kashmiris have died and property destructed. 'India army brought back painful memories of Pathribal and Macchil fake encounters and exoneration of the guilty,' the Hurriyat spokesperson said, while referring to the alleged fake encounter of three Rajouri men by state forces in Shopian on July 18. 'Since last year, those Kashmiris killed in encounters are buried discreetly by the authorities in far off places, as their bodies are not even handed over to their families raising serious questions about the whole exercise such as what happened in the killing of these missing labourers,' the Hurriyat spokesperson said. 'It is extremely inhuman and immoral and of course suspicions to not even hand over the bodies of those killed to their kith and kin for identification and burial. Claiming that the human rights abuses of all kinds against the people of Kashmir were at its peak, the Hurriyat spokesperson urged rights organisations and the world community to ask government of India to stop such acts immediately. The Hurriyat also sought an impartial probe into this 'brutal and heart wrenching incident'.