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Missing Rajouri labourers and Shopian encounter: Political parties demand impartial probe

Srinagar: Various mainstream parties on Monday demanded a probe impartial and time bound probe to unearth the mystery behind the disappearance of three poor labourers of Rajouri district.

Family of the three labourers Tuesday said that purported photographs of alleged militants killed during July 18 encounter in Amshipora encounter bear uncanny resemblance to at least two of the missing labourers.


While Army has said it will investigate the matter, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) president Syed Altaf Bukhari urged the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to order a high level probe into the disappearance of three labourers.

Abrar Ahmad Khan (15) son of Bagga Khan, his relative Abrar Ahmad (25) son of Mohammad Yusuf, and 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.

“The Lt. Governor led government in J&K is expected to order and pursue a serious, impartial and transparent investigation that leaves no stone unturned in finding out what happened to these three poor labourers who have lost contact with their families since July 17. The truth behind their missing must be unearthed as quickly as possible,” Bukari said in a statement issued here.

The JKAP president hoped that the government will assign the probe to some sitting judge who can lead the investigations while taking all the factors into consideration. Bukhari expressed solidarity with the families of these three missing labourers and assured them of all possible help in tracing the whereabouts of their loved ones.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) termed the reports of three missing labourers killed in a “staged encounter” at Shopian as “shocking and extremely excruciating episode and has said that such repressive measures have pushed Jammu and Kashmir in a precipice of a disaster.”

PDP spokesman in a statement issued here has said that the reported killing of three missing labourers from Rajouri in a “staged encounter at south Kashmir’s Shopian has raised questions on all such encounters in recent months especially in view of the new decision not to identify bodies, or hand them over to families and bury them reportedly in remote, inaccessible, unidentified places.”

“In order to justify its repressive, unconstitutional, inhuman and extremely violent measures upon the people of Kashmir, all government of India needs is a militancy narrative,” PDP spokesman said in the statement. 

The incident of three labourers from Rajouri going missing from Shopian is a serious issue and needs a time-bound judicial probe, CPI (M) said in a statement.

“According to media reports the trio went missing just a day before the security forces claimed it killed three unidentified militants in Shopian. There are unverified reports that the missing labourers have been killed in a fake encounter in Shopian on July 18. This is shocking and must be probed by a sitting High Court judge in a time-bound manner,” read the statement.

“In the past also unfortunate incidents of civilians being killed in fake encounters for rewards and promotions have been reported in Kashmir. The 2010 unrest was the creation of the Machil fake encounter. Those who are proved to be involved in such heinous crimes  be brought to justice,” the statement added.