Shopian ‘Encounter’: Rajouri Families Seek LG’s Personal Intervention In Speedy DNA Testing

SRINAGAR: The families of the three boys killed in an alleged fake encounter in Shopian are seeking the personal intervention of the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Authorities have announced two parallel investigations in the ‘encounter’ but there has not been any outcome so far.In a letter addressed to Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, family members of the three boys killed in an alleged staged encounter by the Army in Shopian on July 18, 2020, have sought his personal intervention demanding an impartial and fair inquiry into the killings and results of the DNA report to establish the truth. They have sought permission for exhumation so that a decent burial of their family members can be arranged.

The letter has given chronological details of the missing of their family members.

The family has written that the trio had left to Shopian in search for work where one of their relative namely Imtiyaz Ahmed was already working in the house of Lambardar.  After a couple of days, the contact with the trio was lost, the family lodged FIR in the concerned police station on August 9, 2020.

Subsequently, on August 10, families came across pictures of the dead bodies of three militants killed in an encounter in Shopian on social media. These pictures led them to know that the trio has been killed in an encounter on July 18 in an encounter with Army in Shopian.

The family identified the youngsters via social media pictures that were viral on August 10. They identified the pictures as that of Abrar Ahmed (17), Imityaz Ahmed (20), and Abrar Ahmed (25).

Three days later, a team from Shopian police collected DNA samples and assured the family that DNA reports establishing the veracity of their claims that the three killed youth are not militants but their children will be available within 10 days but till date, the reports have not been made available.

But even after 28 days, the family’s agonizing wait for DNA reports continue, and justice eludes, they regretted. The report will help ascertain that the youngsters killed were not militants but their kin.

“Our children had no connection with militancy for which we are demanding inquiry again and again. They were killed in cold blood and they were students and labourers,” pleads family in the letter.

Further, the family writes about the sacrifices it has rendered for the country in the past and continues to: “Many of our family members are serving in the army and many took part in the Kargil war.”

The letter was made public by Guftar Ahmad, a local activist from Rajouri who has been on the forefront for investigations of the case. His tweet was re-tweeted by President Peoples Conference, Sajad Lone, adding: “Justice delayed is justice denied. Justice has to be swift. Justice cannot be a matter of charity. It is a matter of right.”

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