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Shopian–Rajouri case: Probe on; will ensure families get justice, says LG Sinha

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File Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Massive package to revive J&K’s ailing economy in offing, announcement within a week

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Monday said that a probe is going on in the July 18 Shopian encounter at two levels and the administration led by him will ensure there is no injustice.

Three youth including a minor from Rajouri, who had travelled to Shopian in July, went missing on the evening of July 17, a day before Army claimed killing three militants in the south Kashmir district.


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, had gone to Shopian to work as labourers.

On July 18 morning, police and army claimed to have killed three unidentified militants in an encounter in the Amshipora area of the southern Kashmir district.

The family thought that the trio had been quarantined by the authorities since they travelled from Jammu to Kashmir, and as such didn’t report them missing even after not being able to reach them.

However, three weeks later after they had last spoken to the missing trio, their families were shocked to see a photograph of purported slain militants bearing stark resemblance to two of the missing youth.

As the matter came to the fore, the Army said it will conduct an inquiry into the incident.

 “We have noted social media inputs linked to the operation at Shopian on 18 Jul 2020. The three Terrorists killed during the operation have not been identified and the bodies were buried based on established protocols. Army is investigating the matter,” said Srinagar-based defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said early August.

Questioned about the outcome of the probe and the fact that the missing youth had written a letter to him, LG Sinha said in a presser on Monday that a probe is going at two separate levels—administration and army—and the administration led by him will ensure there is no injustice.

J&K LG Manoj Sinha addressing a press conference at Raj Bhavan, Srinagar on Monday, Sep 14, 2020 – Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Referring to the slump in businesses and the ailing economic situation, the LG said that a committee constituted to suggest a package for the revival of business and other ailing sectors of J&K has submitted its report, which is under consideration with the Government of India and a “big announcement was on cards within a week”.

Sinha said it is not that the business of J&K has suffered for the past one year or so but the fact remains that for the past 15 or 20 years, every sector has suffered losses.

“Yes, there was a committee constituted to suggest a package. The committee has submitted its report which is under consideration with the Government of India and I think within a week’s time, there is going to be a major announcement about a big package,” the LG said while replying to a query.

He said that the package would perhaps be the first ever and would not just cover the ailing business sector but other sectors that have suffered in J&K so far.

To a query about July 18, Amshipora, Shopian where three youth from Rajouri were allegedly killed in an ‘encounter’, the LG said that the probe by the administration and the army is underway. “I will ensure that there is no injustice,” the LG said.

He also said that the administration led by him will look into the issue of frequent traffic jams on highways due to huge convoy movement of security forces especially army and the CRPF. “Give me some time, I will talk to you (media men) on this issue,” he said.

The LG also said that there will be public Darbar at divisional and sub-divisional levels across J&K on every Wednesday where Divisional Commissioners and DCs will listen to the grievances of people and ensure timely redressal.

“This will be on rotational basis. First week Divisional Commissioners will attend Darbars at divisional level and on the next Wednesday they will remain present at sub-divisional level.

This process will be monitored for three months after which we will take it to block level as well,” he said.

The J&K LG also said that Back to Village Program-3 will commence from October 2, Gandhi Jayanti.

“Before that, I would like to announce here that every Panchayat halqa will get Rs 10 lakh for the various developmental works.

The officers from the administration will only facilitate the works and rest everything will be done by the panchayat members themselves. The aim is to make every village in J&K a model village,” he said.