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Rajouri-Shopian case: No DNA assessments, we wish our bodies of our youngsters, say members of the family

Srinagar: Giving a new spin to alleged encounter in Amshipora Shopian, families of the missing and presumed dead Rajouri labourers have raised serious doubts over the DNA tests and demanded handing over the bodies for physical identification.

“I have serious doubts over DNA tests. I had told DSP sahib that the body should be handed over to my relatives in Kashmir. I have relations in Shopian. They (authorities) have given me seven days. Four days have passed. But I have serious doubts over DNA testing,” Mohammad Yousuf, father of one of the missing labourers Abrar Ahmad, told The Kashmir Monitor.

 

Abrar Ahmad Khan, 25, was among three youth of Peeri, Kotranka in Rajouri district, who disappeared after they left home on July 16 to work as daily-wage labourers in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Over three weeks later, families of the trio were shocked to see the purported picture of three alleged militants killed in an encounter at Amshipora village in the Shopian district on July 18. The bodies bear a stark resemblance to two of the missing labourers, the 16-year-old Abrar and the older Abrar.

Photograph of the three missing persons (Left: Imtiyaz Ahmad, Top Abrar Khan, Bottom, Abrar Ahmad) source: social media

A third body in the picture is placed facedown with clothes pulled up over his head. Bullet marks can be seen on the back of the third body.

“I can vouch that the bodies of three are of three boys. I want bodies of all the three. All three are cousins. I am talking to administration. I will fight till last breath. If they will do any hanky-panky with DNA tests, I will not rest. I will fight till the end,” said Yousuf.

Abrar Ahmad belonged to the family of army soldiers who fought wars against Pakistan. Abrar Ahmad’s uncle Madad Hussain retired as an honorary captain from the army. His second brother Muhammad Bashir, who retired as Havildar from 12 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI), fought the Kargil war in 1999. Honorary captain Madad Hussain’s son Subaidar Zakir Hussain is currently serving in the army.

“My children have been killed under a planned conspiracy. Now, the bodies should be handed over to us,” he said.

The demand came on the day the army asked the public to share “information/inputs” about the July 18 encounter in Shopian in which three alleged militants were killed.

In a notice published in an English daily in Kashmir on Wednesday, the Victor Force Headquarters has asked people “having credible inputs/information” about the encounter to contact them within 10 days.

 “Any person having credible inputs/information on the encounter by Security Forces at Village Amshipora, District Shopian, dated 18 July 2020 may please contact Deputy GOC, HQ CIF (Victor) on tele 01933-247026 within next 10 days,” read the notice by the Victor Force headquarters.

It added that the “identity and details of the person will be kept secret.”

On Tuesday, Srinagar-based Defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia  said a high-level Court of Inquiry into Operation Amshipora in Shopian is under progress.

“Statements of key witnesses are being recorded and progress is being monitored closely. Additional civil witnesses are being asked to depose before the Court of Inquiry,” he said.

Col Kalia said the DNA samples have been collected from Rajouri by the Jammu and Kashmir police and sent for matching with those of the alleged militants killed on July 18.

 “Cases, where doubts are raised, are investigated under due process as per the law of the land. Since the case is under investigation, further details will be shared periodically, as appropriate without affecting the due legal process,” he said.

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