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Rajouri-Shopian case: Families of missing laborers send SOS to L-G; demand probe, DNA reports

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SRINAGAR:  Seemingly running out of patience, the families of three missing Rajouri laborers have knocked at the doors of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha demanding a probe into Shopian `fake’ encounter and making their DNA reports public.

 Abrar Ahmad Khan, 17, 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 laborers in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.


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

The bodies bore a stark resemblance to two of the missing laborers ­ – the teenage Abrar and the older Abrar. A third body in the picture is placed facedown with clothes pulled up over his head. Bullet marks can be seen on the back of the third body.

“Our children (older and younger Abrar) left for Shopian for Shopian on July 16 in search of work where one of our relatives Imtiyaz Ahmed was already working in a house of Lambardar. After a couple of days, we lost contact with our children. So we decided to lodge a missing report in the concerned police station on August 8,” the family members said. 

On August 10, the families said they came to know via social media that all the three boys have been killed in an encounter on July 18. “We identified them from viral pictures of dead bodies,” they said in a letter addressed to Lieutenant Governor.                               

The copies of the letter have also been sent to the chief secretary, home secretary, and director-general of police.

“On August 13, a team from Shopian police collected DNA samples from us and assured that the report will be out within 10 days. But to date, we have not been informed about the reports. Our children had no connection with militancy for which we are demanding an inquiry. They were killed in cold blood. They were students and laborers,” they said.

The family members said they have rendered sacrifices for the country and many of them are serving in the army. “Some even took part in the Kargil war,” they said. 

Demanding an impartial and fair inquiry in the killings, the families said they want the DNA reports to be made public. “We also want the bodies of our children so that we can give them a decent burial. We are very much hopeful that your good self will personally intervene in this matter and administer justice to us,” they said.