Shopian encounter: Bodies of 3 slain youth exhumed, handed over to families

(File/Representational Image)

Abid Bashir

Srinagar (NVI): After a gap of over 70 days, the authorities today allowed the exhumation of bodies of three slain youth from Rajouri district who were killed in a fake encounter on July 18 at Amshipora, Shopian in South Kashmir. The bodies of the trio were handed over to the families in presence of a magistrate.

Officials privy to the development, told NVI that exhumation took place early this morning in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district where parents of three slain who had travelled from Rajouri to Srinagar in the night and a magistrate besides senior police officers.

“We travelled from Rajouri to Srinagar in the night and then were taken to an undisclosed location in Baramulla district early morning today. The bodies of our sons were exhumed and handed over to us. Now we are leaving back to Rajouri,” said Muhammad Yousuf, father of one of the slain youth killed in Amshipora, Shopian. He demanded compensation to all three families and stern punishment to the Army men involved in the killing of three innocent youth, who were dubbed as terrorist.

The exhumation took place soon after the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir stated that DNA samples of three Rajouri families had matched with the trio killed at Amshipora, Shopian on July 18.

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.

At the same time, police probe had found nothing adverse against the trio and that there was no militant connection established in the police probe, officials privy to the police investigations revealed.

-RJV