Three killed in J&K, police say militants, their families deny

Three youths were killed in Srinagar in the early hours of Wednesday in an “encounter”, with the Army and police claiming that they were terrorists planning a big strike along the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Soon after the photos of the men surfaced on social media, families came forward claiming the three were innocent and had no militant links.

As per the J&K Police, Zubair Ahmad of Shopian, and Ajaz Ahmad Ganai and Athar Mushtaq of Pulwama were “hardcore” militant associates, though it admitted their names were not in the list of terrorists. Ajaz was the son of a policeman. IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said they were investigating the case and “will come to a conclusion soon”.

While the first statement attributed the encounter to a joint operation by the police, Army and CRPF, later on Wednesday, the police said it had joined only later with the CRPF.

The allegations of fake encounter come four days after the J&K Police filed a chargesheet against an Army officer and two civilians over the killing of three labourers from Rajouri in another such encounter, at Shopian in July. Then, too, the police had said it was acting on Army inputs.

On Tuesday evening, security personnel had cordoned off a house located outside the Hokersar wetland in Srinagar. The forces claimed that the three men holed up inside opened fire on them, triggering an “encounter” that continued intermittently through the night. On Wednesday, the police and Army claimed to have…

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