A former chief minister in Indian-administered Kashmir has mocked the claims made by the Indian army that its troopers killed three pro-freedom insurgents in the summer capital of the contested Himalayan region.
On December 30, last year, the top most Indian army officer in Kashmir had claimed that the three youth from Pulwama and Shopain district “were planning a big attack” in Srinagar and weapons were recovered from them after being slain in an “encounter” in Parimpura.
The family of the three youth and politicians across the divide have contested the army’s claim and demanded an impartial probe in to the killings.
Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister, the army had claimed to recover arms from three alleged insurgents in a disputed encounter in Shupain in July last year.
It was later found that the three slain youth were labourers who had come to Shopain in search of work. The much-publicised killing of three ‘terrorists’ turned out to be an alleged cold-blooded murder of three labourers from Rajouri district. That Rashtriya Rifles— the 62 RR — was involved in the fake encounter raises very disturbing questions about the continued approach of the Indian government forces towards upholding human rights in the Valley.
Referring to the Shopian encounter, Mehbooba said: “Earlier Army claimed that it killed three hardcore militants but later on they turned out laborers of Rajouri. This is how things are shaping in Kashmir.”
The People’s Democratic Party President said that during my term as chief minister, she was forced not to return the bodies of slain militants to families but “she resisted and didn’t bow her head as it is against the humanity and religion”.
Mehbooba asked authorities to return the bodies of three youth killed in Parimpura ‘encounter’, and said: “It is the height of repression that you decline the body of a son to her mother even when the slain is innocent.”