Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday met the families of three labourers who were killed in an encounter in Shopian district on July 18, Kashmir News Observer reported. Sinha assured the parents of due justice and said there would be “no laxity” in the case.
Sinha first addressed a public gathering in a village in Rajouri and later walked to the Tarkassi village to meet the families, officials told Kashmir News Observer. “Here, the LG visited the house of Muhammad Yousuf, the father of one of the slain trio,” they said. “Other two families were also present at Yousuf’s house.”
During the meeting the families of the deceased – Abrar Ahmed, Imtiyaz Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar – sought justice in the case. The family has repeatedly demanded the immediate arrest and conviction of those responsible for the incident.
They also demanded compensation, according to the news agency. “The LG assured all three families that justice will be delivered and there would be no laxity,” an unidentified official said. “He asked the families to let the probe complete first and hailed their patience.”
On October 3, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had exhumed the bodies of the labourers and handed them over to their families. The exhumation was done late Friday night at Gantamulla area of Baramulla district in north Kashmir.
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.
On September 30, the Shopian chief judicial magistrate remanded two civilians, who were being questioned in the case, to seven-day police custody. Unidentified officials told the newspaper that the two civilians worked as “informers” of the Indian Army and were suspects in the killing that took place in Amshipora. A third suspect in the case, who is detained, has not been arrested.
On September 26, the three had deposed before the Army Court of Inquiry. Unidentified officials said they were the last ones in contact with the three youth killed in July.
The Army had said on September 18 that it had found prima facie evidence that its personnel misused powers under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1990, in the episode. It launched a formal inquiry into the deaths of the three men last month.
On September 25, the police had said that the deoxyribonucleic acid samples of the three men had matched with those of their parents in Rajouri district. Their families had said that they were labourers, not militants, as labelled by the security forces.