Bandipore Gunfight: Authorities Issue Public Notice To Seek ‘Encounter’ Details

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Srinagar: The Additional Deputy Commissioner who has been appointed as an Inquiry Magistrate in the shootout involving the death of two suspected militants at Bonikhan village of Bandipora district on November 22, has issued a public notice stating ‘whosoever has any information with regard to the incident should come forward and have his statement recorded at DC office Bandipora on December 23, 24 and 26 during office hours. 

The authorities had claimed two militants were eliminated in Bonikhan village in a joint operation by the troops of the 13 Rashtriya Rifles and the special operations group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir police.

“Both the slain militants were claimed to be of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit. However, their exact identities were being established,” he said.

“We’re in the process of collecting all the relevant information with regard to the incident,” ADC Bandipore, Khursheed Ahmad, told Kashmir Observer. “It has to be properly established whether those killed in the shootout were actually militants or was the entire act stage-managed. Since the shootout took place in a civilian area, it has to be known if some civilians might have been caught in the crossfire causing deaths or injuries to them. The collateral damage has also been properly assessed.”

The officer said it was a routine procedure. “All encounters leading to deaths or damage to property have to be properly reinvestigated to remove every possible doubt,” he said. “All the agencies taking part in an encounter submit their report based on which the payments in their favour are released.”

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