CoI Under Progress, Statement Of Witnesses Being Recorded: Army
Says DNA Samples Of Rajouri Families Sent For Matching With Slain ‘Militants’
Srinagar, Aug 18 (GNS): Army on Tuesday said that a high-level Court of Inquiry set up by it into the July 18 encounter at Amshipora Shopian was under way.
Three militants were claimed to have been killed in the encounter by army who was “later” joined by police and paramilitary CRPF. However, the families of three persons from Rajouri who after failing to contacted their loved ones since July 17 and after seeing pictures on social media claimed slain to be their kin. They filed a missing report with concerned police following which the army ordered an inquiry.
“As intimated on 11 August 2020, a high level Court of Inquiry into Op(eration) Amshipora , Shopian on 18 Jul 2020 is under progress. Statements of key witnesses are being recorded and progress is being monitored closely,” Defence spokesman Rajesh Kalia said in a statement issued to GNS.
“Additional civil witnesses are being asked to depose before the Court of Inquiry,” he said, adding, “Concurrently, DNA samples have been collected from Rajouri under the aegis of JKP and sent for matching with the (militants) killed on 18 Jul 2020.”
He said Indian Army is committed to “ethical conduct of all Counter Terrorist operations”.
“Cases where doubts are raised are investigated under due process as per the law of the land. Since the case is under investigation, further details will be shared periodically, as appropriate without affecting due legal process,” he added.
Last week, a police team headed by a DSP ranked officer from Kashmir collected DNA samples of the families.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar told reporters recently that “there are two aspects of the investigations. One is matching the DNA and then we will be also investigating whether these youths, who had come to work in Kashmir, had any links with militants. We will be going through their call details and other technical aspects as well.”
On July 18, police in a statement had said that three militants were killed in gunfight with joint team of police, army and CRPF in Shopian district on an input by army.
“On a specific input by 62RR about presence of (militants) in village Amshipora area, an operation was launched by them in the area,” a police spokesperson had said.
During search, he had said, the militants fired upon Army and encounter started. “Later on police and CRPF also joined. During encounter three unidentified militants were killed,” he had said in the statement, adding, “Bodies of all the killed three (militants) were retrieved from the site of encounter.” However, he said, the identification and group affiliation of the slain was being ascertained.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.
All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other militancy-related incidents, he had said.
“The bodies have been sent to Baramulla for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA,” he had said. (GNS)