Pulwama: The three families from South Kashmir whose kin were killed in a purported gunfight in Lawaypora Srinagar in December last year, on Thursday demanded a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the killing.
The three youth — Athar Mushtaq resident of Bellow Pulwama, Aijaz Ahmad resident of Putrigam Pulwama and Zubair Ahmad lone — were killed in an encounter at Lawaypora in the outskirts of Srinagar on December 30. While as police and army claimed that the trio were militants, their families claimed they were innocent and killed in a staged encounter.
The families also asked the authorities to break silence on the encounter and prove their wards as militants or return the bodies — buried in North Kashmir.
Mushtaq Wani, father of Athar Mushtaq, while talking with KNO questioned the government’s silence on the issue.
“Two weeks have passed but no investigation has been ordered. We too were silent as we had given time to the authorities to prove that our sons were militants but they have failed to do so,” Wani said. “Authorities must start the investigation at the earliest.”
Family members of Zubair Ahmad also said that if authorities can somehow prove their son was a militant, they will never seek his body.
“However, if they have failed to get a single evidence against him, they must return his body and punish the culprits who killed him,” they said.
Mohammad Maqbool, the father of Aijaz Ahmad, also echoed the same views and said that authorities must come clear and break the silence.
The families of the trio also said that if they were hardcore OGWs (Over-Ground Workers) for militants, then there would have been at least a single FIR registered against them.
“If they would have joined militant ranks, they would have called their families once that they got trapped but we didn’t receive any call in the 18-hour encounter,” they said.
“They were innocent and were killed in a fake encounter,” they said, requesting the authorities to constitute an SIT and investigate the matter besides returning their dead bodies.
Earlier, Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha said that he will come up with facts about the Lawaypora encounter at an “appropriate time.”
“Let me tell you that J&K is a very sensitive Union Territory. I have noted all versions including that of forces and the families. I will come up with facts before you at an appropriate time,” he said. (KNO)