Jammu & Kashmir

Mehbooba, Omar call for probe into civilian killing in Poonch

Mehbooba addressing journalists over the civilian killing in Poonch. [FPK Photo/ Kaisar Ali]

Srinagar: Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir are calling for a thorough investigation into the alleged custodial killing of three civilians in Dera K Gali Poonch. The victims were reportedly detained by the army on Friday following a militant attack that resulted in the death of five army personnel in Poonch.

Both the National Conference (NC) and the Apni Party staged a protest in Srinagar, demanding a comprehensive inquiry into the incident. Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti expressed concerns about the safety of both the army and civilians in what she referred to as “Naya Kashmir”.

“If the allegations of custodial killings are correct this is an unacceptable misuse of force & the protection afforded to security forces via AFSPA. Even asking for a transparent inquiry & punishment for any violations of human rights seems pointless given how those who are found guilty are released scot-free without serving their punishment. This is not the way to remove “dil ki doori or Dilli se doori”,” Omar tweeted.

During a press conference at the party office, Mufti denounced the attack, emphasising that such incidents bring misery to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

She said that 15 men were apprehended by the army from Topa Peer village for questioning after the attack.

The bodies of three of those detained, identified as Mohammad Shabbir, Showkat Hussain, and Safeer Hussain, were discovered near the military operation site, showing signs of torture. The remaining 12 detainees sustained severe injuries and are currently receiving treatment in hospitals in Surankote and Poonch.

Mufti blamed the BJP for transforming Jammu and Kashmir into an open prison, asserting that people in the region are enduring severe torture. She highlighted that the residents of Rajouri and Poonch belts have never been involved in any militancy-related incidents and criticised the government for silencing dissent.

Furthermore, Mufti referenced the Amshipora fake encounter, where three civilians were killed, noting that while an Army court found the culprits guilty, a civil court reversed the judgement. She expressed concern about the lack of justice despite assurances from the governor, creating a disturbing precedent that suggests forces can operate without restraint.

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