DNA Confirms 3 Slain Shopian ‘Militants’ Were Labourers

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Pictures of three Rajouri boys- Courtesy Twitter

Srinagar: The DNA samples of three men who were killed in an alleged fake encounter with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district in July have matched with their families from Rajouri, a senior police officer said on Friday.

Asked whether the three men were indeed labourers, as claimed by their families, and not involved in militant activities, he said it is a matter of further investigation.

The relatives of three youths, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in Kotranka of Rajouri area in Poonch, had lodged a written missing persons report at the local police station after they lost contact with them on July 17.

In their complaint, they informed the police that they had last spoken to the three, who were mainly involved in apple and walnut trading, on July 17 when the youths had informed their families that they had got a room at Ashimpora in Shopian.

Three boys, Mohammad Imtiyaz and Ibrar Ahmed, both residents of Kathuni mohalla of Dharsakri village of Rajouri, and Mohammad Ibrar, a resident of Tarkassi village of Rajouri, left their homes to work as labourers in Kashmir’s Shopian and went out of contact with their families after July 17 late evening.

A day later, the Army claimed three militants were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir’s Shopian. It initiated an inquiry after social media reports indicated that the three men were from Rajouri and had gone missing in Amshipura.

The families of the three men claimed they worked as labourers in Shopian and lodged a police complaint.

The police also launched an investigation and collected the DNA samples of the three families from Rajouri to match with the slain men.

“The DNA report has come and matching has taken place,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters here.

Asked if he meant that the DNA samples of the three men have matched with the families from Rajouri, he said, “There is positive matching with the families from Rajouri.”

On whether it had been established that the three men were labourers and not involved in any militant activities, Kumar said, “The police are now taking up further investigations in the case.”

The Army completed its inquiry into the matter in a record four weeks.

On September 18, the force said it had found “prima facie” evidence that its troops “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the encounter and has initiated disciplinary proceedings.

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