Shopian ‘encounter’: Army admits slain ‘militants’ were labourers from Rajouri

Army said AFSPA powers were exceeded, and disciplinary action has been ordered

JK-encounter-anantnag-PTI-kashmir Representational image | PTI

The Army on Friday said it has ordered disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those involved in Operation Amshipora in Shopian in which three labourers from Rajouri were killed on July 18.

The three labourers had travelled to Shopian from Rajouri in search of work and rented a room at Amshipora.

According to their families, they last called home on July 16.

Initially, their families thought they were not calling them due to some problem in the mobile network or because they were in quarantine.

However, after the photos of the three militants killed in the Amshipora encounter surfaced on social media, their families lodged a missing report about them with Rajouri police.

The families of the three boys later travelled to Shopian and informed the police that the three militants killed in the encounter were their sons who had left home for Shopian for work. 

The police ordered DNA matching of the three ‘militants’ killed at Amshipora with the three Rajouri families.

The police, Army, and J&K LG Manoj Sinha had all promised that justice would be done in the case and guilty would not be spared if the claims of the three Rajouri families are proven correct.

Colonel Rajesh Kalia, spokesman of Army’s 15 Corps (Chinar Corps) in Srinagar, in a statement, said the inquiry ordered by the Army authorities into Operation Amshipora has been concluded, and it 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 (COAS) as approved by the Hon'ble 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,’’ he said.

He said the evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified ‘terrorists’ killed in Operation Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Muhammad Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri. “Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police,’’ he said.

He said the Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. Further updates on the case will be given periodically without affecting due process of the law of the land, he said.

National Conference, the PDP and CPI(M) had demanded a probe in the encounter case and accused the security forces of killing innocents with impunity.

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