Srinagar (NVI): A day after the Army said that it has launched a probe into the July 18 Shopian encounter, the Jammu and Kashmir Police today said that it will carry out fresh DNA tests on the mortal remains of three terrorists killed in the Ashmipora gunbattle to identify them.
The police statement comes after some unverified social media posts claimed that “July 18 encounter at Shopian district of South Kashmir was stage-managed.”
The families of three missing youths from Rajouri district of Jammu have claimed that the three persons identified as slain militants in pictures gone viral on social media were actually their wards, who were working in Kashmir as labourers and had gone missing.
The Army yesterday issued a statement saying that it had taken cognizance of some social media reports, claiming the encounter as fake and “will investigate the matter.”
This evening, a police spokesman in a statement said that taking cognizance of the claim by the families of three missing youths from Rajouri and media reports, Shopian Police will match the DNA of the slain trio with the persons claiming to be their family members. “Besides identification, Police will also investigate all other aspects as per the law in due course of time,” the spokesman said.
He said that district Police Rajouri has been approached by some families yesterday claiming that their wards had gone to Shopian for labour work and contacted on phone on 17th July, last time. “As per families, when their wards didn’t contact them after 17th July, they lodged a missing report at Peeru police post on August 10,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the social media posts have claimed that the militants killed in an operation at Shopian on July 18 were the kin of three families from Rajouri, the police statement said. The police also said that with reference to its earlier press note regarding the July 18 operation, Police had provided sufficient time for identification of bodies at PCR Kashmir, Srinagar.
“However, the bodies could not be identified and they were buried in the presence of the Magistrate after conducting post-mortem and lifting of DNA samples,” the police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Police said that the Army has also taken notice of the claims by family and social media regarding the said operation and initiated investigations.
NVI was first to report that families of three missing persons from Rajouri district have demanded DNA cross-examination with the trio killed on July 18 at Shopian encounter. The families of three youths have already demanded an independent probe requesting the newly appointed J&K LG Manoj Sinha to take look into the case.