July 18 Shopian encounter: Exhume bodies of our loved ones, hang culprits in public, demand families of slain trio

‘Don’t know what for police, authorities are still waiting, army has confessed our sons were killed in fake encounter, what else is pending’

Srinagar, Sep 19: Day after the army stated that three persons who were killed in Amshipora, Shopian encounter on July 18 were residents of Rajouri district and their involvement with militants is being investigated by Police, families of the slain trio Saturday demanded immediate exhumation of bodies of their dear loved one and called for capital punishment to the guilty.

Talking over phone from Rajouri, Mohd Yousuf, the father of one of the slain youth Abrar Ahmad, said that the moment pictures of slain trio went viral on social media, he has been crying hoarse that they are locals from Rajouri.

“Since then two months passed. Authorities sought time for DNA mapping and inquiries. I believe justice has come from Almighty itself as army has confessed that slain trio were from Rajouri and disciplinary action as being proceeded against those involved in exceeding the powers under AFSPA,” he said, adding that things are ample clear. “It’s a murder our sons have been murdered in cold blood. What will DNA samples and other inquiry prove now.”

Yousuf said that he is not that educated but knows that the DNA sample matching takes hardly three days and not more than a week. “But its been 40 days we are yet to receive the results. I am more than 100 per cent sure DNA samples of slain trio have matched with ours. There is again unnecessary delay,” he said.

He said that authorities without any more delay and on the basis of humanity should exhume the bodies of trio and hand them over to “family members” for proper burial. “At the same time, we demand capital punishment for the guilty. Those involved should be hanged in public so that no innocent life is lost in future,” Yousuf said amid sobs.

Pertinently, in a statement, the Army on Friday evening said the inquiry “brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation powers vested under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Hon’ble Supreme Court have been contravened.”

It also said that the disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable. The Army also stated that those killed in the operation were from Rajouri.

“The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified militants killed in Operation Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohd Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri,” the Army had said.

The Army had however, said their “involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police”.

“Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. Further updates on the case will be given periodically without affecting due process of the law of the land,” it said.

On July 18, the Army claimed that it had killed three unidentified militants in Amshipora Shopian.

In a statement issued that evening, Jammu & Kashmir Police, in an apparent move to distance itself from Army’s claims, said that the encounter was executed on inputs of 62 Rashtriya Rifles and they joined the operation later.

On August 10, three families from Rajouri claimed that those killed in the gunfight were their innocent children who had gone to Rajouri to earn their livelihood. Following the claims, both police and Army ordered separate enquiries into the matter.

Later, a police team from Shopian went to Rajouri and collected DNA samples of the families of the youth to match them with tissues of those killed on July 18, this year at Amshipora, Shopian—(KNO)

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