Confirms trio killed in gunfight hailed from Rajouri
The forces, who conducted anti-militancy operation at Amshipora village in Shopian on July 18 this year, exceeded the powers vested in them under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act besides contravening the guidelines of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Army said Friday.
The major revelation from the Indian Army came after the gunfight, which had come under cloud after families from Rajouri district claimed that the three people killed in the gunfight were labourers not militants, who had gone to Shopian for work.
Srinagar-based defence spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia said the inquiry ordered by the Army into the Amshipora operation had 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 dos and don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened," Col Kalia said a statement.
On July 18, three persons were killed in an "encounter" by the forces at Amshipora area of Shopian.
Police had said the operation was launched based on the inputs of the Army's 62 RR and later Police and CRPF had also joined.
The slain were buried in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
On August 10, three families approached the Police in Rajouri district and claimed that their kin had gone to Shopian for labour work and had contacted them over phone on July 17.
After July 17, as per the families, when they could not contact them, they lodged a missing report at Police Post Peeru on August 10.
On the same day, the Army said it has started an investigation into it.
The missing labourers were identified as Imtiaz Ahmad, aon of Sabar Hussein, 26, Abrar Ahmad, son of Bagga Khan, 18, and Muhammad Ibrar Ahmed, 21, son of Muhammad Yousaf of Dhar Sakri in Kotranka in Rajouri.
Now, the Army has also confirmed the identity of the trio who were killed in the gunfight.
"The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified persons killed in Amshipora operation were Imtiyaz Ahmad, Abrar Ahmad and Muhammad Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri," Col Kalia said.
Without naming the personnel, he said that the competent disciplinary authority had directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable.
"The DNA report of the trio is awaited. Their involvement with militancy or related activities is under investigation by the Police," the defence spokesman said. "Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations."
Earlier, Police had collected DNA samples from the claimant families and sent them to forensic science laboratory for matching with the DNA samples of the three killed persons labelled as militants.
On September 17, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said there was no delay in the outcome of DNA samples and it was a matter of a few days.