July 18 Shopian encounter: Army says investigating matter

Army on Monday said it is “investigating the matter” as it “noted social media inputs linked to July 18 encounter at Shopian.” The social media was abuzz after families of three “labourers” from Rajouri filed missing report with police, stating that they last called their kin on July 17 and that they informed them of having taken a rented accommodation at Shopian.

Next day there was encounter in which security forces claimed killing of three unidentified terrorists.

“We have noted social media inputs linked to the operation at Shopian on 18 Jul 2020. The three terrorists killed during the operation have not been identified and the bodies were buried based on established protocols,” a defence ministry spokesman said in a statement. “Army is investigating the matter,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, a top police officer said that once the families report to Shopian police station we will look into this matter and will intiate further investigations.

On July 18, police in a statement had said that three terrorists were killed in gunfight with joint team of police, army and CRPF in Shopian district on an input by army.

“On a specific input by 62RR about presence of (terrorists) in village Amshipora area, an operation was launched by them in the area,” a police spokesperson had said.

During search, he had said, the terrorists fired upon Army and encounter started. “Later on police and CRPF also joined.

During encounter three unidentified terrorists were killed,” he had said in the statement, adding, “Bodies of all the killed three (terrorists) were retrieved from the site of encounter.” However, he said, the identification and group affiliation of the slain was being ascertained.

“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.

All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other militancy-related incidents, he had said.

“The bodies have been sent to Baramulla for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA,” he had said.

He had said a case FIR No. 42/2020 under relevant sections of law has been registered at Police Station Hirpora and investigation has been initiated into the matter.