SRINAGAR: The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday wrote a letter to Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor, Manoj Sinha seeking an impartial and swift probe into the killing of three youths in Lawaypora encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar city and also demanded that their bodies be returned to the families.
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Three youths from south Kashmir were killed on Wednesday inside a house by the forces in a joint operation, while police and army claimed they were militants, relatives claim they were students.
In her letter to LG Sinha, Mehbooba Mufti said that justice can be only served when the impartial and swift investigation is done in the case.
“I am sure you are aware of the unfortunate incident at Parimpora (Hokersar) on 30th December. Three boys, the youngest being all of 17 years old were killed in what the family has alleged to be a staged gunfight,” reads the letter by Mehbooba.
“This incident has come close on the heels of an enquiry report that held an Army captain guilty & responsible for a fake encounter at Amshipora in Shopian. Again the three victims now established as innocent through an investigation were killed & later dubbed as militants,” she says, adding, “You and I may not agree on most political matters that concern J&K but I am certain we agree that such incidents bring disrepute to the armed forces & are a grave violation of human rights.”
Mehbooba said that she was “aware that the administration is apprehensive about returning their dead bodies to the families but this callous decision will only exacerbate their sense of loss & pain.”
“One hopes that you will rethink this decision & allow them to get closure. A mother who grieves the sudden & tragic death of her beloved son shouldn’t be deprived of the last chance to see his face,” says Mehbooba, adding, “Nor does she deserve to beg for his dead body. This is simply inhuman & unacceptable.”Urging him to intervene and ensure that these families get a chance to perform the last rites as per their wishes, Mehbooba said that questions are also looming over the encounter and there are “conflicting versions & reports from police & the army.”
“Justice can be served only if it’s swift & therefore I request you to initiate an impartial investigation into the matter immediately,” Mehbooba wrote in the letter.