PDP chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday wrote to Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, urging him to intervene and ensure that the bodies of three persons killed in an encounter on December 30 on Srinagar outskirts are provided to their families.
She also called for an impartial inquiry into the questions surrounding the incident.
The J&K police has identified the three persons killed in the encounter as Zubair Ahmad from Shopian, and Ajaz Ahmad Ganai and Athar Mushtaq from Pulwama and described them as “hardcore militant associates”.
The families of the three have questioned the police narrative and said they had no links with militants.
In her letter to the L-G, Mufti wrote, “I am aware that the administration is apprehensive about returning their bodies to the families but this callous decision will only exacerbate their sense of loss and pain. One hopes that you will rethink this decision & allow them to get closure.”
Underscoring that the allegations of the encounter being “staged” come on the heels of an inquiry report that held an Army captain responsible for a fake encounter at Amshipora in Shopian, Mufti wrote, “Questions are also looming over this encounter and there are conflicting versions and reports from the police and the army. Justice can be served only if it is swift and therefore I request you to initiate an impartial investigation into the matter immediately.”
Meanwhile, J&K Police on Friday issued a statement on the matter. “In so far as claims of the parents that Aijaz Maqbool Ganai went to the university to fill up form is concerned. The same was verified and cross checked through the modern techniques including records of telecom department. Contrary to the claims, the verified digital evidence revealed and corroborated that Aijaz and Ather had gone to Hyderpora and from there to the place of occurrence only.”
Police said Zubair had travelled first to Pulwama, then Anantnag, then Shopian to Pulwama and finally came to the place where the encounter occurred.
“Background check also reveals that Aijaz and Ather Mustaq, both OGWs variously provided logistic support to terrorists. Antecedents and verifications too shows that both were radically inclined and had aided terrorists of LeT (now so-called TRF) outfit.”
While the investigation continues, police also claimed that an OGW currently in police custody has corroborated Aijaz’s association with LeT terrorist Faisal Mustaq Baba who was killed in an encounter at Meej in Pampore in June last year.
On Thursday evening, NC MP Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, too, spoke to the L-G over the phone and demanded an impartial inquiry into the matter. The L-G is learnt to have assured the MP that the killings would be impartially probed.