Bodies of the three labourers exhumed last week

Srinagar: After 77 days of them being killed in a fake encounter in Shopian, the  bodies of three labourers from Rajouri were finally exhumed from the graveyard at Gantmulla, Baramulla and  handed over to their families.

An official said that bodies of the  three were exhumed in North Kashmir and were handed over to the  families.

Pertinently three families from Rajouri claimed that they were killed in a fake encounter in Amshipora Shopian on July 18 after which the authorities ordered for enquiry.

The Kashmir Monitor was the first newspaper to report the missing of the labourers.

Abrar Ahmad Khan (17) son of Bagga Khan, his brother-in-law Abrar Ahmad (25) son of Mohammad Yusuf, and their relative Imtiyaz Ahmad (20) son of Sabr Hussain, all residents of Peeri, Kotranka in Rajouri district, disappeared after they left home on July 16 to work as daily-wage labourers in south Kashmir’s Shopian district.

Over two weeks later, the families of the trio were shocked to see the purported picture of the three alleged to be the militants killed in an encounter at Amshipora village in the Shopian district on July 18.

On September 18, in a brief statement, the Army had stated that the Shopian operation contravened the dos and don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff approved by the Supreme Court.

“The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened. “Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” the statement had said.

Soon after the army’s statement, the families of slain youth had demanded immediate exhumation of the bodies of their loved ones for proper burial at Rajouri.

The three families from Rajouri had identified their sons through pictures that went viral on social media. The army had ordered a court of inquiry while police and the administration had been probing the case separately.

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