A day before encounter all three were in touch with us, post gunfight, we lost contact; Request DGP, IGP to allow exhumation of bodies for identification, say families; Investigating the matter: Def Spokesman

The family members of three missing youth from Rajouri district of Jammu region on Monday demanded DNA mapping of the trio killed in the Shopian encounter on July 18 fearing that the slain may be their kin. The families of the three missing youth said they are not sure whether their children are those killed in Shopian gunfight on July 18 but want to be sure through DNA cross examinations.

With social media abuzz with the reports that the encounter was “stage managed,” the army said that it has noted social media inputs linked to the operation at Shopian on July 18. The army said that militants remained unidentified and that it has ordered investigations into the matter. 

Three families from Rajouri district filed missing reports of their kin on Sunday at Peeri Police station Rajouri

A police official confirmed to local news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), that family members of three youth namely Ibrar Ahmed son of Bagha, Imtiaz Ahmed S/o Sabir Hussain both  residents of PH Dhar (Kathuni) Rajouri and third one also Ibrar Ahmed son of M Yousuf resident of Tarkassi, Rajouri filed their missing report on Sunday.

Till July 17, the family members said all three were in touch with their parents.  “But on July 18 the phones of all three came as switched off,” a family member of one of the missing youth told KNO. “After failing to trace them, we lodged missing report on Sunday at concerned police station. Our demand now is that police chief DGP and IGP Kashmir should allow exhumation of bodies for DNA mapping. We are ready for cross examinations of the samples. The photographs of the slain that have gone viral suggest trio are our children.”

Hussian Ahmad, brother-in-law of one of the missing youth said the bodies of three youth killed in Amshipora, Shopian encounter should be exhumed and their DNA cross examinations done. “We should be allowed to identify them as well,” Ahmad said.

On July 18, J&K police in a statement said that on a specific input by 62RR about presence of militants in village Amshipora area of District Shopian, an operation was launched in the area.

“During search militants fired upon Army personnel and the encounter started. Later on police and CRPF also joined. In the encounter, three unidentified militants were killed,” the police statement had said. “Bodies of all the killed three militants were retrieved from the site of encounter and the identification and affiliation of the slain is being ascertained.”

The police statement had read that the bodies of the killed militants were sent to Baramulla for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA and in case any family claims the killed militants to be their kith or kin, they can come forward for their identification and participation in last rites at Baramulla.

However, social media remained abuzz today with netizens posting updates that “July 18 Shopian encounter was stage managed and trio killed were labourers from Rajouri district.”

Defence Spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the army has noted social media inputs linked to the operation at Shopian on July 18.  “The three militants killed during the operation have not been identified and the bodies were buried based on the established protocols. Army is investigating the matter,” he said