Bodies of trio killed in Shopian by army exhumed; families to bury them in Rajouri

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Bodies of the trio killed in Shopian by the army were exhumed late last night in Baramulla and handed over to their families from Rajouri district, reported a local news agency, Global News Service (GNS).

The families of the trio— Abrar Ahmed (25), Imtiyaz Ahmed (20) and Mohammed Ibrar (16)—were given permission from Deputy Commissioner Rajouri and they met the authorities in Baramulla to take forward the process, unidentified official sources told GNS. The bodies were later exhumed at around 10:30 p.m and handed over to the families. The families will now carry the bodies to native villages and bury them there.

The exhumation and subsequent handing over of the bodies came few hours after Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the legal process to exhume and hand over the bodies of three youth killed in an “encounter” at Amshipora village of Shopian district by the Army on 18 July and passed them off as “militants” would be completed soon.

“The process is on. We have started whatever legal process has to be undertaken and this process will be completed soon,” the top police officer told reporters on the sidelines of a function here on Friday.

On 30 September, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said the since the DNA samples matched with the families, the bodies will be exhumed and handed over to families after the due process of law.

There has been persistent demand from the families to seek bodies as well as immediate arrest along with stern punishment to those behind the killings.

The statement also follows a fortnight after the army said its high-level Court of Inquiry brought out “certain prima facie evidence indicating that the powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded during the operation.”

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia had said that inquiry has found that the “Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened”.

“Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” he had said.

“The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified (militants) killed in Op Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohd Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri,” he had said. “Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with (militants) or related activities is under investigation by the police.”

On July 18, police in a statement had said that three militants were killed in gunfight with joint team of police, army and CRPF in Shopian district on an input by army. “On a specific input by 62RR about presence of (militants) in village Amshipora area, an operation was launched by them in the area,” a police spokesperson had said.

During the search, he had said, the militants fired upon Army and a gunfight started. “Later on police and CRPF also joined. During encounter three unidentified militants were killed,” he had said in the statement, adding, “Bodies of all the killed three (militants) were retrieved from the site of encounter.” However, he had said, the identification and group affiliation of the slain was being ascertained.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” he had said. (GNS)

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