Two civilians who were being questioned for their role in the July 18 Amshipora encounter in Shopian have been remanded to seven day police custody by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Shopian.
Of the two persons, whose names have not officially been released by the J&K Police, one is from the Shopian district while another is from Pulwama. Sources told The Indian Express that the two individuals had worked as “informers” for the Army and are suspects in the killing of three civilians in the Amshipora encounter. However, a third suspect who was had also been detained for questioning, has not been arrested so far.
Superintendent of Police Shopian, Amritpal Singh said that the two have been arrested under sections 302, 120-B IPC and section 7/25 Arms Act.
Three persons had given their final deposition before the Army Court of Inquiry on Saturday. Sources have told The Indian Express that the three were “the last contacts of the three deceased” and are being questioned for their role in the incident.
On September 18, the Army had confirmed that identities of the three killed at Amshipora matched that of the missing labourers from Rajouri — Abrar Ahmed (25), Imtiyaz Ahmed (20) and Mohammed Ibrar (16). Additionally, on September 25, Inspector General (Kashmir Zone) J&K police had said that the DNA samples of the three deceased labourers had matched those of the families from Rajouri.
The J&K Police had earlier said that “militant links” of the three labourers are under investigation however, sources said the claims made by the “army sources” will be verified when they are officially handed over to the police.
The families of the victims had contested the security force’s version that the three killed in the Amshipora encounter were “terrorists” after seeing their pictures on social media.
In August, the Army had orders a Court of Inquiry to investigate these claims and on September 18, the Army spokesperson in Srinagar said that said its probe had “prima facie” found that its troops exceeded powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) — and directed disciplinary proceedings against those “answerable”.
“Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” the army statement said.
Since the confirmation of the DNA report, they have demanded that the bodies of the three cousins be returned to them.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines