Four militants were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district on Wednesday.
Following inputs about presence of militants, security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Melhoora area, police said. Militants fired at the security forces, triggering the encounter.
J&K Police said the militants are “unidentified” and that they will wait for DNA samples to ascertain identities. This is the second consecutive encounter in Shopian where the police have maintained that the slain militants were “unidentified”.
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar confirmed that four militants have been killed in the operation. He said police have collected DNA samples of the four militants. “We are conducting burial in presence of the magistrate. So far, the family of one of the militants has come. We will show them (the body). If they identify, then two to three family members will be permitted to participate in the burial. Those who claim the bodies later, their DNA samples will take for further course of action,” he said.
On April 17, when two militants were killed in Shopian, police had said the militants were not identified. However, two families said the militants were their sons and alleged the police did not hand over the bodies. The families have now submitted an application to the District Magistrate of Baramulla, where the bodies were buried, demanding the bodies.
On April 8, when a JeM commander was killed in an encounter in Sopore, a large number of people gathered to attend his funeral despite the police saying that “legal heirs had given in writing to adhere to social distancing when the body was handed over to them”.
On April 4, four militants were killed in an encounter in Kulgam district. A “good number of people” attended funerals of three militants despite COVID-19 advisory, police sources said.
“We had to register three cases and nearly 100 people were arrested for violating the COVID-19 restrictions. They were bailed out,” an officer said. “What was witnessed in the two encounters earlier this month is apparently a reason why handing over the bodies to the families is being delayed.”
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