Shopian ‘fake encounter': Army accepts its men ‘prima facie’ violated powers under AFSPA

Last Updated : 18 September 2020, 13:43 IST

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Soldiers and officers involved in an alleged fake encounter in which three “militants” were killed in south Kashmir's Shopian on July 18 have been indicted by the Army.

The disciplinary action is being initiated against the accused, who have not been named by the army yet.

“The inquiry ordered by the Army authorities into Op Amshipora has been concluded. The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Hon’ble Supreme Court have been contravened,” defence spokesperson, Col Rajesh Kalia said.

“Consequently the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” he said.

However, the army didn’t identify its personnel or officers against whom the ‘prima facie’ evidence has been found. Despite repeated attempts, the defence spokesperson in Srinagar couldn’t be reached.

The alleged fake encounter had been carried out by 62-Rashtriya Rifles Battalion which reports to 12 Sector Brigade based in Shopian.

The Amshipora encounter came under the lens after three families from the Rajouri district of Jammu region claimed that the three killed were their kin and were labourers by profession. The DNA samples of the families were lifted on August 13 and have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for examination and comparison with the “three unidentified slain militants”.

The families have identified the missing youth as Abrar Ahmed Khan, 18, Imtiyaz Hussain, 26, and Mohammad Ibrar, 21, all from Rajouri, and claimed the faces resembled the pictures of the slain “militants.”

The Army in its inquiry has acknowledged that the three slain men were Imtiyaz, Abrar and Ibrar from Rajouri. “Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police,” Col Kalia said and added Indian Army is committed to the ethical conduct of operations.

Amshipora killings have evoked painful memories of the Pathribal incident of March 2000 in which five civilians from Anantnag were killed by the security forces and 2010 Machil fake encounter in which three civilians were killed and later passed off as ‘terrorists.’

Published 18 September 2020, 12:34 IST

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