The ongoing investigation into the July 18 gunfight at Amshipora area of south Kashmir's Shopian district, in which three persons were killed and declared as militants, would be conducted in a "fair and speedy" manner, Police chief said Monday.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said that the Senior Superintendent of Police, Shopian was supervising the investigation process of the case and further details about it would be shared at an appropriate time.
"The investigation will be carried out in a fair and speedy manner," Singh told reporters at Awantipora in Pulwama district.
On September 25, Police said the DNA samples of three persons, who were killed in a gunfight with the forces, had matched with the samples of their families while further course of action would take place.
The gunfight became a matter of investigation after the families from Rajouri district claimed that the three persons killed in the gunfight were their kin and had gone to Shopian to work as labourers.
The families had identified the "missing labourers" as Imtiaz Ahmad, 26, son of Sabar Husain, Abrar Ahmad, 18, son of Bagga Khan, and Muhammad Ibrar Ahmad, 21, son of Muhammad Yousuf of Dhar Sakri in Kotranka, Rajouri.
On September 18, Army said the forces, who conducted the anti-militancy operation at Amshipora, exceeded the powers vested in them under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and that the dos and don'ts of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) were contravened.
After concluding its investigation, the Army had confirmed the identities of the trio and said the competent disciplinary authority had directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable.
On July 18, Police and Army said the three persons, who were cousins, were killed in a gunfight with the forces at Amshipora and said the gunfight was launched based on the inputs of Army's 62 RR and later Police and CRPF had also joined.
Subsequently, the trio was buried in north Kashmir's Baramulla district as unidentified.
On August 10, three families approached Police in Rajouri district and claimed that their kin had gone to Shopian for labour work and had contacted them on phone on July 17. Afterward, as per the families, when they could not contact them, they lodged a missing report at Police Post Peeru on August 10.
About the killing of a prominent TV panelist and lawyer Babar Qadri in Srinagar, the top Police brass said there had been a good progress in the investigation of the case and Police would be able to crack it soon.
"We have got some clues about the Qadri case. We are working on them. I'm sure Police will be able to crack the case soon," Singh said.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Police is investigating the killing of Qadri, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen, who had disguised as clients, inside his residence at Hawal area of the city on September 24.
Army begins Summary of Evidence
Srinagar, Sep 28: After indictment of its own men, the army has begun Summary of Evidence, a step before a possible court martial, in July's Amshipura encounter in South Kashmir's Shopian district during which all civilian witnesses would also be cross examined, officials said here.
The Court of Inquiry, which completed its probe earlier this month, had found "prima facie" evidence that troops had "exceeded" powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the July 18 encounter in which three men were killed. Following this, the army had initiated disciplinary proceedings.
The officials said some of the civilian witnesses would also be called for cross examination which included those who act as "informers" for the local army who may have possibly waylaid the troops in the wrong direction.
"You see every aspect of this needs to be probed thoroughly. The army is committed to bring the inquiry to its logical conclusion but every angle needs to be probed," a senior army official said on condition of anonymity.
According to the rules, the case details will be examined under various provisions of law during the Summary of Evidence against the erring Army personnel following which Court Martial proceedings will be initiated.
The Army has been maintaining high standards of transparency and punishing officials whenever rules are violated, the officials said.
During the Summary of Evidence, the proof in relation to a charge against an accused, taken down in writing including any statement made by the accused and any further statement of evidence, is taken on record.
On July 18, the Army claimed that three militants were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir's Shopian district.
Committed to ethical conduct during anti-militancy operations, the Army initiated a Court of Inquiry after social media reports indicated that the three men were from Rajouri district in Jammu and had gone missing at Amshipura. The probe was completed in a record four weeks and Summary of Evidence was initiated.
The families of the three men from Rajouri who worked as labourers in Shopian had also filed a police complaint.
In a brief statement, the Army had said on September 18 that the Shopian operation contravened the dos and don'ts of the Chief of Army Staff approved by the Supreme Court.
"The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the Do's and Don'ts of Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened.
"Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable," the statement had said.
The evidence collected indicates the three unidentified terrorists killed in Amshipura were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrar who hailed from Rajouri which was subsequently confirmed through a DNA test.
Taking a serious note of the incident, the army had published a general advertisement in local newspapers, asking people with any "credible information" about the case to step forward and share it with the court of inquiry instituted by the Army.
Relatives of the three youths, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in Kotranka of Rajouri area in Poonch, had lodged a written missing persons report in the local police station after they lost contact with them on July 17. The three were working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards in Amshipura. The missing report will be closed as now the three youths have been identified.
The relatives said in their complaint that they had last spoken to the three on July 16 when they informed their families they had got a room to stay in Amshipura.
The room was the site of the encounter two days later, the complaint stated.
Police, meanwhile, are probing the three youths' call details and why they jumped out of a window when an operation was launched at their rented accommodation, besides their presence around strategic places in Shopian since their arrival.