‘Who Planted ‘Incriminating Material’?’, Asks Omar

Omar Abdullah – File Photo

SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned the official version that arms and ammunition were recovered from the Shopian encounter site in July after the DNA tests on Friday proved that the three slain men were labourers from Rajouri district.

According to this official version, ‘incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter’. So who planted this ‘incriminating material’? Omar said in a tweet.

He was reacting to Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar’s statement that the DNA match of the three slain men, who were dubbed as militants by the Army, has come positive with those persons who had claimed them to be their kin.

These young men were buried somewhere in North Kashmir. It is imperative that the bodies be exhumed & handed over to the families immediately so that a proper burial can take place near their homes in Rajouri district, Omar, who is also the National Conference vice president, said.

On July 18, the Army had claimed three militants were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

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 had 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,” Kumar told reporters here on Friday.

Sajad Lone, chairman of Peoples Conference, said he did not expect anything to change due to the latest developments as such cases have happened in the past as well.

Will there be any change? Will the sanctity of human life be restored? No. nothing will change. This encounter was exposed by our media forcing initiation of investigation. As hiding it in today’s digital age was not possible. My thoughts with the 3 men murdered in cold blood, Lone wrote on his Twitter handle.

Had this been the first time, one could have hoped it won’t happen again. It is not the first time and not the last time. There is no deterrence and in Delhi there is a lot of tolerance for HR violations in Kashmir. Justice will be ornamental unless it is divine, he added.

It Was A ‘Stage Managed Encounter’: PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demanded stern and speedy action against the perpetrators of the Shopian “fake encounter” urging for transparent and time-bound investigation to deliver justice to the families of the victims.

In a statement issued here, a PDP spokesperson said that that the policy of incentivizing killings has been at the core of many instances of “murder for medals” in the past as well and that it is about time that the government makes Shopian incident an example to ensure justice & create deterrence.

“With the statements of the army and the police as well as the conclusive forensic reports, it is amply clear that what happened in Shopian was a staged encounter wherein innocent youth of Rajouri who had come to Shopian to eke their livelihood working as laborers were murdered and passed off as militants. And now is the test for the government to ensure justice to the families by taking the case to its logical conclusion of punishing the guilty,” the PDP spokesperson said.

“Proofs at hand notwithstanding, the history doesn’t inspire much confidence given what happened to similar cases of Pathribal and Machil fake encounters. Where evidence was collected and the crime and criminals established beyond doubt only to see the victims still waiting endlessly for guilty to be punished and justice delivered,” he added.

He said it was a high time that the culture of impunity at the cost of human lives ends and legal maneuvering to shield the perpetrators of such heinous crimes is given up.

The PDP spokesperson also condemned the killing of Activist Lawyer Advocate Baber Qadri terming his murder as dastardly and inhuman for which no words of condemnation are enough.

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