LG Meets Kin Of Youth Killed in Shopian ‘Encounter’, Promises Justice

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday promised to deliver justice to the families of the three Rajouri labourers, who were killed in a fake encounter in Shopian district of south Kashmir in July.

Around 6:00 pm Thursday, LG Sinha accompanied by his Advisor Farooq Khan, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jammu Mukesh Singh and other senior police and civil administration officials visited Tarkassi village and met the families of the three slain youth, eyewitnesses told Kashmir Observer.

Sinha, they said went to the residence of Muhammad Yousuf Chouhan, where the families of two other victims were also present.

Yousuf’s son Ibrar Ahmad and two other youth Mohammad Imtiyaz and Mohammad Abrar left their homes to work as labourers in Kashmir’s Shopian town and went out of contact with their families after late evening of July 17.

A day later, the Army killed them in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of Shopian and claimed that all the three were militants killed in an encounter. The bodies of the three youth were exhumed last week and buried at native places after their DNA samples profiling.

“I told LG sahab clearly that there can be no compensation to my innocent son’s murder, even if the wealth of the entire world is dropped at my feet. I told him that the cuplrits must be punished for killing our innocent children,” Yousuf told Kashmir Observer.

Sinha, he said, gave the families a patient hearing and promised to deliver justice to them.

Abrar’s brother Mohammad Saleem said that the LG expressed his sympathies with the families and assured that the culprits will be punished.

Guftar Ahmad, a social activist who has been spearheading the campaign for justice for the three youth, said that the families of the victims have high hopes as the probe is going in the right direction.

“The families have high hopes from LG and they expect him to deliver justice. The army accepted the trio were innocent, then the results of DNA tests matched, and then the bodies too were returned to the families. And now LG’s visit has made them more optimistic,”  Ahmad, an eyewitness to LG’s meeting with the victims kin told Kashmir Observer.

“The family members of the trio demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits. The LG not only promised justice but also jobs and compensation to the families,” he added.

Meanwhile, an official spokesperson said Thursday that LG expressed condolences with the families of the three youth and said that the UT government will extend full support to them and assured that justice would be ensured in the case.

“He also conveyed the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the government stands with the aggrieved families in the hour of grief, and they will be taken care of with all support from the government,” the official spokesperson said.

Pertinently, LG’s meet with the victims kin comes almost a fortnight after Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar in a presser said that the involvement of the the three slain youth in militant activities was a matter of investigation.

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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