The deoxyribonucleic acid samples of three suspected militants killed by the armed forces in Amshipora in Shopian in July have matched with those of their parents in Rajouri district, the Jammu and Kashmir Police said on Friday. The family members of those killed had claimed that they were labourers, not militants, as labelled by the security forces.

“We have received the DNA sample results of three families of Rajouri and they have matched with those killed in Amshipora, Shopian,” Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar said, according to the Kashmir News Observer. “We will now take further course of action and complete remaining formalities.”

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had taken six samples from the parents of the three men who were killed in an operation on July 18.

On September 18, the Indian Army said it has found “prima facie evidence” that its personnel misused the powers conferred on them under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990, during the encounter. Disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act were initiated against the accused troops.

“The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA [Armed Forces Special Powers Act] 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened,” the statement had said. “Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable.”

The families of the deceased youth then demanded immediate exhumation of their bodies for a proper burial in Rajouri.

On August 9, the families of the suspected militants had gone to a local police post with a missing persons complaint, saying that they last spoke to their kin on July 17, a day ahead of the encounter. The missing persons complaint was lodged on August 10.

The three men, all related to one another, were later identified as 20-year-old Imtiyaz Ahmad and 16-year-old Ibrer Ahmad, both from Dharsakri village, and 25-year-old Mohammed Ibrar of Tarkasi village.

For three weeks, the family had waited to approach the police. “We thought they might have been taken into quarantine in Shopian by the administration and that’s why they didn’t call us,” said Hussain, a shepherd in Rajouri, told “We had heard the quarantine period is for 21 days.”

Soon afterwards the complaint was lodged, pictures of the three missing youth went viral on social media. It purportedly showed the dead bodies of three “unidentified terrorists” allegedly killed in a gunfight with security forces in Shopian on July 18.

On July 18, the security forces had said that they received specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area, after which they began the operation. They also said that the suspected militants had allegedly opened fire at the security forces.