Claims of families wrong, trio was in touch with commanders: IGP on Lawaypora “gunfight”

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The police has called the claims of three south Kashmir families, whose kin were killed in an alleged gunfight in Srinagar on 30 December last year, “baseless and wrong”.

“Fact is that all three were in touch and were travelling together on the day of encounter,” said Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Friday. “One among the slain (son of a policeman) was called by SoG Pulwama in 2019 and later set free after thorough counselling. Our investigation has revealed that two among the slain (from Pulwama) were talking to people across LoC. This was the IP address retrieved from their damaged phones have suggested.”

Kumar further claimed that Zubair Lone, a resident of Shopian, “was in touch with the top commanders across the LoC. The content like the chats etc, is difficult to retrieve as their phones had got damaged. We will file a detailed report in the court with proof.”

On 30 December, the government forces killed three persons in an alleged gunfight. However, their families claimed the trio was innocent. Since then, the families have demanded the bodies of trio — who were buried in a desolate graveyard in Sonamarg.

Kumar was addressing press after a gunfight concluded in Tral, in which three local militants were killed. He said that police was well aware of the efforts being made across LoC through various online portals and website to instigate “young minds of Kashmir and to lure them into militancy.”

“To counter the same, we (police) will soon come up with an online portal where we will hold interactive sessions with parents and the misguided youth. Online counselling sessions will also held on the portal and it will be a useful tool to de-radicalize the youth,” the IGP said. He said that parents too must keep a close watch on their wards and ensure they don’t tread a wrong path.

The IGP said that this year police policy is clear that ample time will be given to the local militants especially new recruits, who get trapped in the encounters.

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