SRINAGAR/JAMMU: Family members of the three missing youth from Rajouri district in
and Kashmir demanded an independent probe into the July 18 encounter at Amshipora in
to “ascertain if those slain were their kin.” They appealed to Lieutenant Governor of J&K Union Territory
Muhammad Yousuf, father of one of the missing youth Ibrar Ahmad, said they met the DIG and SSP in Rajouri on Tuesday. “We are hopeful that we will be allowed to travel to Shopian in south Kashmir, where we can approach authorities concerned for DNA cross examination,” said Yousuf.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday said it will carry out DNA sampling of those slain in the encounter at Shopian on July 18.
Yousuf claimed that the photographs of the three militants killed in the July 18 encounter -- that have gone viral on social media -- suggest that the slain were their wards. “They had gone to Shopian on July 17 to work as daily-wage labourers. We lost contact with them on July 18. Strict action must be taken if it is proven that the encounter was stage-managed,” said Yousuf.
Family members of other two youths echoed similar concerns and also demanded an independent probe.
After netizens flooded social media with posts saying the “July 18 encounter was fake”, the Army on Monday said it has taken note of the posts and that it was investigating the matter.
In a statement, a police spokesperson said Shopian police has taken cognizance of the claims made by the families of the missing youth and media reports and will examine the claimants and carry out DNA sampling for matching. “Besides identification, police will also investigate all other aspects as per law,” the spokesperson said.
He confirmed that the Rajouri district police have been approached by some families, claiming that their kin had gone to Shopian for work and were last contacted on phone on July 17. “The families said they could not be contacted since July 18, following which they lodged a missing report at Peeru police post on August 10,” the spokesperson added.
The police also said that they had provided sufficient time for identification of the bodies. “However, the bodies could not be identified and they were buried in the presence of a magistrate after conducting autopsy and taking DNA samples,” the police spokesperson said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Congress too demanded an independent probe. “The J&K administration should come out with a detailed statement on the death of the three youth in Rajouri,” said J&K Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma.