Srinagar, Aug 13: A police team headed by a senior officer has been rushed to Rajouri for investigation after families alleged that three militants killed by security forces in an encounter in Kulgam on July 18 were their missing relatives and actually innocent labourers.
Meanwhile, Army has also taken notice of the family and social media claims regarding the operation and initiated investigations.
However, the family members of three missing youths alleged that they are not being provided travel permit by police to visit Kashmir , where their relatives had gone missing since July 18.
A team headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) has been sent to Rajouri to collect information and complete legal formalities in connection with three persons who had gone missing in Kulgam on July 17, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar told reporters on the sideline of full dress rehearsal for Independence Day (ID) here on Wednesday.
He said since the missing report was filed in Rajouri, police is trying to evaluate the case and collect all technical evidence about their disappearance.
Mr Kumar said as per set procedure we have collected DNA samples of all three militants after nobody came forward to claim their bodies after the encounter on July 18 at Kulgam. Now we are working on two aspects—to match DNA of relatives wit the DNA of these militants and second to investigate if the (missing persons) were in contact with local militants in Shopian, he said adding everything will have to be investigated.
Three youths identified as 18- year-old Abrar Ahmed Khan, Son of Bagha Khan, Imtiyaz Hussain (26) Son of Sabir Hussain, both residents of Dhar Sakri of Tehsil Qotranka of Rajouri and 21-year-old Abrar Ahmed son of Muhammad Yousuf of Tarkasi village of same Tehsil had arrived in Kulgam on July 16.
The family members alleged that last contact on mobile phone with them was on July 17, a day before they went missing after security forces claimed to have killed three unidentified militants in an encounter at Kulgam.
A police spokesman has said here that District Police Rajouri have been approached by some families claiming that their kins had gone to Shopian for labour work and contacted on phone on July 17. As per families when they did not contacted them after last call on July 17 they lodged missing report at Police Post Peeru on August 10, 2020. Meanwhile Social media reported that the militants killed in an operation at Shopian on July 18, 2020 are reportedly their kins, spokesman said.
He said Police had provided sufficient time for identification of dead bodies at Police Control Room (PCR) Kashmir Srinagar. However, the dead bodies could not be identified and they were buried in presence of Magistrate after conducting post-mortem and lifting DNA samples.
Taking cognisance of the claim by the families and 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.
Meanwhile, Army has also taken notice of the family and social media claims regarding the said operation and initiated investigations. Almost all mainstream political parties have demanded a judicial probe into the killing.