Alleged Shopian fake encounter: Army asks people to depose before CoI

Day after announcing the Court of Inquiry in the alleged fake encounter in Shopian, the Army on Wednesday asked the people having any information about the incident to depose before the CoI.

Advertisements have been published in most of the local newspapers asking the people that their identity will be kept confidential.

“Any person having any credible inputs/information on the encounter by Security Forces at village Amshipora, District Shopian dated 18 July 2020 may please contact Deputy GOC, HQ CIF(Victor) on 01933-247026 within the next 10 days. The identity & details of the person will be kept secret,” reads the advertisements published in newspapers.

On Tuesday Army had said that a high level Court of Inquiry is in progress regarding the alleged fake encounter on 18th July in Amshipora area of south Kashmir’s Shopian.

The Army said in a statement that the testimonies of key witnesses were being recorded and the investigation was being closely monitored.

“Additional civil witnesses are being asked to depose before the Court of Inquiry,” the statement said. “Concurrently, DNA samples have been collected from Rajouri under the aegis of JKP [Jammu and Kashmir Police] and sent for matching with the militants killed on 18 July 2020,” the statement said.

On August 9, the families of the three Rajouri residents had gone to a local police post with a missing report that they last spoke to their kin on July 17, a day ahead of the alleged fake encounter. The missing persons complaint was lodged on August 10.

On the basis of photographs that the family of the trio came across on social media – identified as Ibrar Ahmad (20), Imtiyaz Ahmad (25) and Ibrar Ahmad (17) of Rajouri – they have alleged that the three unidentified “militants” the army said it killed in a gunfight at Shopian on July 18 were, in fact, their innocent relatives.

Some reports have said that on July 16, Imtiyaz Ahmad, a labourer from Rajouri had rented a small room near the army’s Rashtriya Rifles (RR) camp at Chowgam, near Shopian town.

Last Thursday, a Jammu and Kashmir Police team from Shopian reached Rajouri and collected DNA samples of three families to match them with those of three young men allegedly killed in a fake encounter and buried in Baramulla.

Pertinently, on 18 July police in statement said that after specific input by 62RR about presence of militants in village Amshipora area of District Shopian, an operation was launched by them in the said area.

“During an encounter three unidentified militants were killed,” the police had said.