Letter to PM, seeking an inquiry in the fresh killing of three Kashmiri youth

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Kolkata: Track II diplomat and Chairman of centre for Peace & Progress O P Shah had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing concern over the killing of three youth in Kashmir on December 30, 2020 and urged for an independent inquiry into the alleged fake encounter.

On December 30, the three young men – namely, Ajaz Maqbool Ganie, Athar Mushtaq Wani and Zubair Ahmad Lone – were shot at and killed by the Indian Army’s 2 Rashtriya Rifles unit in the Lawaypora area of Srinagar.

Parents of three youth claimed that the three were students and hours before encounters they were with them at their respective houses.

In August, 2020 itself three labourers were killed in Shopian which later turned out to be fake. The three labourers were killed in an encounter in stage managed murder and even arms were planted on his bodies.

“I would urge the Government of India and the administration of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir to conduct an independent, impartial and thorough investigation of this encounter, which the families of the dead young men allege was a ‘fake encounter’,” Shah mentioned in the letter and also raised major points.

“This allegation by the families of the deceased is further bolstered by the following information from recent media reports:

“That none of the deceased had any police record or other record of being politically active.

And none of the deceased was listed in the police’s database of active militants.

While security personnel failed to make any effort to involve the families of the deceased to appeal to the alleged militants to surrender.

Also frequently, dying militants tend to call their family members in their final hours – it is quite extraordinary that none of the deceased attempted to contact their family members.”

He also said that after every encounter, neighbours account matters, but in this case, the residents of the relevant neighborhood contest the military’s assertion that the deceased were given several opportunities to surrender.

And Shah also stressed that the Government should also sympathetically consider the demand of the family members to be handed over the bodies of deceased persons.

The Kolkata based diplomat added, “If we are to win back the hearts and minds of Kashmiris , “fake encounters” have to be completely eliminated and, therefore, it is incumbent upon the Government of India and its security forces to thoroughly investigate any suspicious encounter and to ensure that in cases where the security forces have perpetrated illegal killings, justice is done in a timely manner.”

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