‘Legitimate doubts looming over authenticity of Rambagh shootout’: Mehbooba

President PDP and former J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday alleged that “legitimate doubts are looming” over the “authenticity” of the “alleged encounter” in Rambagh area of Srinagar where police claimed to have gunned down three militants of The Resistance Front (TRF) last evening.

“After yesterday’s alleged encounter at Rambagh, legitimate doubts are looming over its authenticity. As per reports & witnesses it seems that the firing was one sided. Again the official version far from truth is not in line with ground realities as seen in Shopian, HMT & Hyderpora,” Mehbooba said in a tweet on Thursday.

The allegations by the PDP chief come on the heels of the killing of two civilians Mohammad Altaf Bhat and Dr Mudassir Gul in an alleged encounter in Hyderpora area of Srinagar earlier this month.

After police buried the two civilians in far off Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, J&K government was exhumed them and handed over the bodies to their families after public outcry and allegations by the families that Altaf and Mudassir were killed in a “fake encounter”.

With regard to Wednesday’s militant killings, a police spokesperson said that the trio was killed in an “encounter” at busy Rambagh-Srinagar road.

“Acting on a specific information regarding the movement of terrorists, Srinagar Police immediately swung into action and established a special naka to track them down,” police said, adding, the “terrorists were traveling in a car which was signalled to stop by the naka party. They did not stop and instead opened fire on the naka party which was retaliated, triggering an encounter.”

In the ensuing encounter, the three militants of TRF outfit were killed, police added.

The trio was identified by police as Mehraan Yaseen Shalla, son of Mohammad Yaseen Shalla of Jamalata Srinagar, Arafat Ahmad Sheikh, son of Mohammed Maqbool Sheikh of Nikloora Litter Pulwama and Manzoor Ahmad Mir son of Late Sonaullah Mir resident of Babhar Pulwama. As per IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, Mehraan was commander of TRF.

However, several people, who said they were eye witnesses to the incident, claimed that the trio, were shot dead by the police and that there was no exchange of fire, as the police claim.

Several videos have surfaced on social media in which women who have gathered near the spot of the incident claim that the trio were unarmed and forces shot them “in front of them”.