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As questions arise over 3 killed in J&K encounter, Army orders probe | India News


NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: Over 20 days after three unknown “terrorists” were eliminated in an encounter in Shopian (J&K), family members of three labourers in Rajouri district have filed missing reports, stoking controversy on social media. After netizens urged the Army to ascertain the identity of the men killed on July 18, Army sources confirmed to TOI on Monday that the bodies would be exhumed for investigation and DNA testing.
Army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said they had taken cognisance of social media posts related to the encounter, adding the bodies of the three men who were killed by a unit of Rashtriya Rifles had not been identified. “They were buried as per established protocols. The Army is investigating the matter,” he said.
Trio last called on July 17: Kin
According to the families who filed the missing reports at Peeri police station under Rajouri Police, the trio had last called their kin on July 17. Lal Hussain, a relative of one of the missing men, said they had called to inform that they had reached Shopian and rented a room. Asked about the three-week delay in filing a report, Hussain said the families initially assumed they were not able to contact due to mobile connectivity issues. “We waited for their call for a long time,” he said.
The missing labourers include Imtiaz Ahmad (26) Ibrar Ahmed (18), and Ibrar Ahmed (21), all of them were residents of Dhar Sakri in Kotranka in Rajouri.
Iltija Mufti, who operates her mother and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti’s Twitter handle, tweeted: “Shocked to hear about reports of 3 missing labourers reportedly killed in a staged encounter at Shopian. Armed forces have a free hand to operate with impunity. Explains why bodies are allowed to decompose at unknown locations. Probes into recent encounters must be ordered (sic).”
A day after the encounter on July 19, Army’s sector commander Brigadier Ajay Katoch had cited “human intelligence from a unit source on the presence of 4-5 unidentified terrorists” in Amshipura village on the intervening night of July 17-18.



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