Srinagar, Oct 3 (IANS) Bodies of three civilians allegedly killed in a stage-managed encounter on July 18 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district were exhumed on Saturday and handed over to families for final rites.
The bodies of the three civilians belonging to Rajouri district in Jammu division were exhumed after 70 days from a graveyard in the Gantamulla area of the north Kashmir Baramulla district.
Families of Imtiyaz Ahmad, Abrar Ahmad and Muhammad Ibrar had claimed that their wards had come to Shopian district to work as labourers and had been framed and killed as militants in a fake encounter.
After the families lost contact with their wards, they identified their photographs posted on social media after the encounter of July 18 in the Amshipora village of Shopian district.
The claim of the families was substantiated after their DNA samples matched with those of the three slain youth.
Subsequently, police could unearth no evidence to prove the militant links of the slain persons.
A preliminary court of inquiry held by the army accepted that those engaged in carrying out the Amshipora encounter had stepped out of their line of duty by overlooking the standard operating procedure (SOP) set by the Supreme Court in carrying out anti-militancy operations.
Three locals who acted as informers of the security forces were also questioned by the army’s court of inquiry.
The police have taken over the custody of these ‘informers’ whose role in the encounter is now being investigated.