The Army on Wednesday issued an advertisement in local newspapers asking people to share "credible" inputs for its probe into the killing of three alleged militants in an encounter last month, following allegations by families in the Rajouri area of Jammu region that as many of their kin were missing from the same place.
"Any person having credible inputs or information on the encounter by security forces at village Amshipora, district Shopian, dated July 18, 2020 may please contact Deputy GOC (General Officer Command)...on telephone number 01933-247026 within the next 10 days. The identity and details of the person will be kept secret," the advertisement issued by Lt Col Sonal Jain read.
Srinagar-based defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia had said on Tuesday that the Army was committed to ethical conduct of all counter-terrorist operations.
"Cases, where doubts are raised, are investigated under due process as per the law of the land. Since the case is under investigation, further details will be shared periodically, as appropriate without affecting due legal process," he had said.
The encounter took place on July 18 when the Army claimed to have killed three militants at Amshipora in the higher reaches of Shopian in south Kashmir.
However, little over two weeks thereafter, missing complaints were lodged in Rajouri area of Jammu region by the families of three youths, working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards, who had disappeared from the same region and they had last talked to them on July 17.
The Army has already instituted a high-level Court of Inquiry to probe the incident and statements of Army personnel were recorded on Tuesday.
DNA samples have been collected from Rajouri families by the Jammu and Kashmir Police and sent for matching with those of the alleged terrorists killed on July 18.
The relatives of three youths, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in Kotranka of Rajouri area in Poonch, had lodged a written missing persons report at the local police station after they lost contact with them on July 17.
In their complaint, they informed the police that they had last spoken to the three, who were mainly involved in apple and walnut trading, on July 17 when the youths had informed their families that they had got a room at Ashimpora in Shopian.
The same place was the site of the encounter the next day and since then there has been no report about the three, the families said in their complaint.
Three boys, Mohammad Imtiyaz and Ibrar Ahmed, both residents of Kathuni mohalla of Dharsakri village of Rajouri, and Mohammad Ibrar, a resident of Tarkassi village of Rajouri, left their homes to work as labourers in Kashmir's Shopian and went out of contact with their families after July 17 late evening.
The father of Imtiyaz, one of the missing persons, was seen on social media pleading for a visit to Kashmir and exhuming the bodies of his son and others for a proper burial in Rajouri.