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AFSPA mandate exceeded in Shopian encounter: Army probe

Army jawans stand guard near the encounter site in Amshipora area of Shopian on July 18, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The Army on Friday said it has concluded the inquiry ordered into the Shopian encounter of July 18 and suggested that the powers vested under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) were “exceeded during the operation”.

“During the operation, the powers vested under the AFSPA, 1990, were exceeded and the do’s and don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened,” a Srinagar-based Army spokesman said.

Also read: High-level Court of Inquiry ordered into Shopian encounter: Army

The spokesman said the inquiry has brought out “certain prima facie evidence”.

“Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed that disciplinary proceedings be initiated under the Army Act against those found prima facie answerable,” the spokesman said.

The evidence, collected during the inquiry, has prima facie indicated that the three unidentified terrorists killed in Amshipora in Shopian on July 18 were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammad Abrar, all labourers who hailed from Rajouri in the Pir Panjal Valley. 

Earlier, the security forces had claimed all the three killed were “unidentified militants” and were buried in a graveyard in north Kashmir.

“Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police,” the Army said. 

The spokesman said the Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. 

The families of the three missing youth claimed that they spoke to them just a day before the Shopian operation was conducted jointly by the police and the Army.

Also read: DNA samples collected of people claiming to be relatives of 3 youths killed in Shopian encounter

The families had recently written a letter to J&K Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha and sought his intervention in speeding up the process of the DNA results. 

Police sources said the results of the DNA sample matching are in the final stage and may be made public soon.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 6:25:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/shopian-encounter-army-finds-prima-facie-evidence-against-troops-initiates-proceedings-under-army-act/article32640707.ece

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