‘In Shopian fake encounter too, were not the three said to be carrying weapons?’

Cop brother of ‘militant’ Zubair killed in Srinagar demands dead body

Cop father of Ajaz says that his son is innocent and had no links with militancy

Families demand dead bodies, reiterate their sons’ innocence 

Srinagar: The families of the three persons killed in Lawaypora in a joint operation by armed forces, have appealed to the JK administration to handover them the bodies of their kin for the last rites.

Brother of one of the slian Zubair Ahmed Lone’s brother, Irfan Ahmad who works as a Constable at JK police said that they tried calling him when he didn’t return and his phone was also switched off.

“We were not worried as being busy with his work even during nights was routine for him,” he said, adding “but he has never been involved in any militant related activities which can be confirmed from the concerned police station”.

When asked about the police claims of their brother carrying weapons, he said: “If the police had any information about him being involved in any such activity, why did they not act earlier, or inform us about the same?”

“In the Shopian fake encounter as well, were not the ones they killed said to be carrying weapons and ammunition?” Constable Irfan questioned.

Appealing for the dead-body, the mother of Zubair said that getting back the mortal remains of her son from police authorities is the only thing she wants now.

“My son was a flying bird who was captured and killed. Now my only request to JK administration is to give us his body. We want to bury him in our ancestral graveyard so that we can visit him frequently and pray for his soul,” she said.

Expressing anguish, she said that her son did not have any connection with the militants. “He was innocent,” she lamented.

Sitting next to Zubair’s mother, one of the mourning relatives told Free Press Kashmir that his kin was innocent as he was doing his job ‘as other civilians do’.

“Zubair had no links with militancy. He was an educated person and doing his job peacefully. He left home at around 12:30 in the afternoon of December 29, after having lunch. Later his phone was continuously off, but he was not involved in militancy. We request the administration to do a fair probe in our kin’s killing so that it will come to fore that he was innocent,” he said.

He added that earlier also three innocent labours of Rajouri were killed in a “fake military operation” in Amshipora village of Shopian district in south Kashmir.

“We are appealing to the administration to return the body of our kin so that his parents can take a sigh of relief with a thought that their son is buried in their ancestral graveyard,” he pleaded.

Mohammad Maqbool Ganie, the father of another slain, Ajaz Maqbool, told Free Press Kashmir that his son was not keeping well for a long and police claiming his son’s link with militancy is not even possible.

Maqbool, who also works as Head Constable in JK police department, said that his son is innocent and had no links with militancy.

“He was suffering from a back problem and was on bed rest for the last 35 days. He was undergoing treatment from an orthopedist Dr Tahir at Awantipora. On December 29, he left home for Degree College Pulwama at around 10:30, in the morning, and throughout the day he was in contact with his mother and sister,” he said.

“He had informed his sister at around 4:30 pm that he will accompany his friend if he was not able to free himself on time. At 4:45 pm, his phone was switched off. Next day I got a phone from the police that my son was killed in a military operation,” Maqbool added.

“Eyewitnesses at Pulwama College have seen him having tea at 3 pm. How is it possible he had weapons and no one saw it and that reached Srinagar along with weapons? My son was innocent and we want justice,” he said with a heavy heart.

The family members of the third slain Athar Mushtaq have a similar story to tell.

Athar’s father Mushtaq Ahmed said: “He left in the morning, and his sister got a call from him saying that he’ll be back by the evening or next morning, but he didn’t return. The allegations of my son being an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of militants are baseless, and lack any proof.”

“Also, there’s this claim that he was asked to surrender before they killed him, why was his family, then, not informed? We appeal to the governor for nothing but justice,” he added.

In this regard, police had said that “three unidentified militants had been killed while the house where militants were hiding suffered partial damage.”

The operation began after a joint team of Police, army’s 02 RR and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Lawaypora.

The General officer Commanding (GoC) Kilo Force H S Sahi said that three militants killed in an encounter at Lawaypora on Srinagar outskirts were planning a big strike on the highway to gain publicity.

Addressing a joint press conference at 2 RR headquarters at Zainakote, HMT, Srinagar, GoC Kilo Force said that in the past one week, five militants including a Pakistani national were killed in two separate gunfights in north Kashmir.

“Since past many days, intelligence inputs were pouring in continuously about the movement of militants on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Yesterday, we developed leads and came to know that militants are hiding in a house right opposite to Noora hospital at Lawaypora in HMT area,” Sahi said.

“The militants fired indiscriminately at security forces and lobbed grenades as well. The operation was put on a halt due to dark but cordon layers were tightened. With the first light, the firefight again resumed and militant used heavy ammunition against security forces,” the GoC said, adding that in the ensuing gunfight three militants were killed.

In the second statement issued yesterday, police said that none of the three were on its “list of militants, yet two of them were hardcore associates (OGWs) of (militants) while third one might have joined very recently.”

The spokesperson said that repeated announcements were made to the hiding militants to lay down their “illegal weapons” and surrender but instead, they fired continuously.

“Due to darkness, the operation was suspended. However the cordon remained intact throughout the night,” the spokesman said, adding, “On the 30th morning with the first light repeated announcements were again made to hiding (militants) to surrender but the (militants) fired indiscriminately on security forces which was retaliated again, resulting in the elimination of (militants).”

“Upon their search, arms (One AK 47 rifle & two pistols) and ammunition and other incriminating material along with some documents were recovered,” the spokesman said.

However, the spokesman said that “police is investigating the case and after thorough investigation will come to the conclusion soon on merits.”


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