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Monday, June 27, 2022

Amid chorus for probe, Kashmir police chief backs Indian army, but says will probe Srinagar ‘firefight’

As the clamour for an impartial probe in to the Srinagar ‘firefight’, in which three youth from two southern districts of Kashmir were slain, grows, the region’s police chief said he had no reason to doubt the Indian military’s claim that the trio were insurgents planning an attack in summer capital Srinagar. 

The Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh on Thursday said that he has no reason to dispute what a senior army official has stated about Lawaypora gunfight but added that police will “still investigate the claims made by families of slain trio.”

 Aijaz Ahmed Ganai, Ather Mushtaq, and Zubair Ahmed were killed in an encounter at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts on Wednesday. Soon after their killing, their families staged a protest outside Police Control Room in Srinagar, stating that their “sons were not militants but students.” The families had urged India’s governor in Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, to probe the killings at the highest level. 

“I have no reason to dispute what the General  Officer Commanding S Sahi has stated about the encounter. The families of two slain youth claimed that their children had gone to submit forms at a University, I want to ask them what were their children doing at encounter site if they had gone to submit a form,” Singh said in Jammu.

The families of the slain had said the trio were abducted on way to Srinagar by the government forces and killed in a staged encounter. 

 Sahi, the top most Indian army officer in Kashmir, while addressing the media on Wednesday had claimed  that the three youth had plans to carry out a big strike on the Srinagar-Varmul highway and that they turned down repeated offers to surrender.

 “We will still investigate allegations levelled by the families’. If there is anything, we will probe that,” the police chief said. 

The police in a press release has stated that the slain trio were not listed in their list of insurgents active in the disputed region. But the police chief in a defense said: “It is not important that every militant is listed with the police. When a person leaves his home to join, he doesn’t tell his parents.”

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