Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti sought on Friday an impartial investigation into the killing of three youths in an alleged fake encounter here two days ago and demanded that the bodies be returned to their families.
In a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Mufti said such incidents brought “disrepute” to the armed forces and are “a grave violation” of human rights.
“I am sure you are aware of the unfortunate incident at Parimpora on 30th December. Three boys, the youngest being all of 17 years old, were killed in what the family has alleged to be a staged gunfight,” she said.
“Questions are also looming over this encounter & there are conflicting versions & reports from police & the army. Justice can be served only if its swift & therefore I request you to initiate an impartial investigation into the matter immediately,” the former chief minister said.
Police had claimed on Wednesday to have killed three militants in an overnight encounter in Parimpora area of Srinagar, but families of the slain youths said they had no connection with militancy and that two of them were students.
Mufti said the incident comes close on the heels of police filing a charge sheet against an Army officer and two others in connection with the killing of three men from Rajouri district in an alleged fake encounter at Amshipora in Shopian last July.
The PDP leader said she and the lieutenant governor might not be on the same page on most political matters, “but I am certain we agree that such incidents bring disrepute to the armed forces and are a grave violation of human rights”.
Mufti said while she was aware that the administration was apprehensive about returning the bodies of the three youths killed in Srinagar to their families, “this callous decision will only exacerbate their sense of loss and pain”.
“One hopes that you will rethink this decision and allow them to get closure. A mother who grieves the sudden & tragic death of her beloved son shouldn’t be deprived of the last chance to see his face. Nor does she deserve to have to beg for his dead body. This is simply inhuman & unacceptable,” she said in the letter.
Mufti urged Sinha to intervene and ensure that the families get a chance to perform the last rites as per their wishes.
Meanwhile, Anantnag MP Hasnain Masoodi spoke to Sinha on Thursday evening over the issue, the National Conference said, adding that the Lt governor has assured an impartial inquiry into the incident.
Support Ethical Journalism. Support The Dispatch
The Dispatch is a sincere effort in ethical journalism. Truth, Accuracy, Independence, Fairness, Impartiality, Humanity and Accountability are key elements of our editorial policy. But we are still not able to generate great stories, because we don’t have adequate resources. As more and more media falls into corporate and political control, informed citizens across the world are funding independent journalism initiatives. Here is your chance to support your local media startup and help independent journalism survive. Click the link below to make a payment of your choice and be a stakeholder in public spirited journalism