July 18 Shopian encounter: J&K DGP says probe in final stages 

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): The investigation into an alleged fake encounter in Shopian, in which three youths from Rajouri were killed, was in its final stage, J&K DGP Dibagh Singh said today while assuring that the probe will be fair and transparent.

J&K DGP’s comments came three days after IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar said that DNA samples of parents of three youths from Rajouri district have matched with those killed in July 18 encounter at Amshipora in Shopian.

Talking to reporters at District Police Lines (DPL), Awantipore, Pulwama, DGP Singh said that SSP Shopian is himself monitoring the investigation process and very soon further details will be shared. “Our investigations are in the final stage and will be fair and transparent in nature,” the DGP said.

Army and police both are investigating the case on their part, the DGP said, adding that Army probe will complete in the next few days while as police investigation is also going.

Three families from Rajouri claimed that their three sons were killed in a fake encounter in Amshipora after which authorities ordered an inquiry. The photos of three youths killed in the encounter had gone viral on social media.

On September 18, in a brief statement, the Army had stated that the Shopian operation “contravened” the dos and don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff approved by the Supreme Court.

“The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the do’s and don’ts of Chief of Army Staff 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,” the statement had said.

Soon after the Army’s statement, the families of slain youth had demanded immediate exhumation of the bodies of their loved ones for proper burial at Rajouri. The three families from Rajouri had identified their sons through pictures that went viral on social media. The army had ordered a court of inquiry while police and the administration had been probing the case separately.

On 25 September, police also confirmed that three persons in Amshipora were labours from Rajouri.

DGP Singh today further added that “we have managed to get some clues about Advocate Babar Qadri’s killing case and hopefully very soon J&K Police will be able to crack the case.” “We have already constituted a SIT in this regard and the probe is on,” he added.

-ARK