Shopian 'fake encounter': Bodies of three labourers to be exhumed, handed over to families, says IGP

File Pic: Mubashir Khan/GK

The bodies of three labourers from Rajouri, who were killed in Amshipora village of Shopian district by the Army on July 18, are being handed over to their families “after due process of law”, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, Vijay Kumar said on Wednesday.

Speaking to news agency GNS, the top police officer said that the bodies will be exhumed and handed over to families after due process of law.

The statement comes amid persistent demand from the families, seeking bodies of the trio— Abrar Ahmed (25), Imtiyaz Ahmed (20) and Mohammed Ibrar (16) —and immediate arrest along with stern punishment to those behind the killings.

Last week, the army had said that its high-level Court of Inquiry brought out “certain prima facie evidence indicating that the powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded during the operation.”

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the inquiry had found that the “Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened”. “Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” he had said.

“The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified (militants) killed in Op Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohd Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri,” he had said, “Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with (militants) or related activities is under investigation by the police.”

On July 18, police in a statement had said that three militants were killed in a gunfight with a joint team of police, army and CRPF in Shopian district on an input by the army.

“On a specific input by 62RR about presence of (militants) in village Amshipora area, an operation was launched by them in the area,” a police spokesperson had said.

During the search, he had said, the militants fired upon the Army and the encounter started. “Later on police and CRPF also joined. During the encounter three unidentified militants were killed,” he had said in the statement, adding, “Bodies of all the killed three (militants) were retrieved from the site of encounter.” However, he had said, the identification and group affiliation of the slain was being ascertained.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” he had said.