Shopian fake encounter: Bodies of slain trio exhumed, handed over to family

Bodies of three men from Rajouri, killed in an alleged fake encounter by Army in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir in July this year, have been exhumed and handed over to their families, officials said on Saturday. The exhumation was done late Friday night at an unidentified location in north Kashmir — hours after Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh said the legal process to exhume and handover the bodies was on and would be completed soon. “The bodies of the three persons were exhumed and then handed over to their families,” the officials said. They said the families of the three men were called from Rajouri district in Jammu region and taken to the spot where the trio was buried. The families will take the bodies to their native village to bury them, they added. The DGP had on Friday said that the legal process to exhume the bodies had been started and will be completed soon. On September 30, inspector general of police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said since the DNA samples matched with the family, the three bodies will be exhumed and handed over to families after due process of law. On July 18, the Army claimed three militants were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir”s Shopian district. However, the Army initiated an inquiry after social media reports indicated the three men were from Rajouri district in Jammu and had gone missing at Amshipura. The families of the trio from Rajouri who worked as labourers in Shopian had also filed a police complaint. The Army completed the probe in record four weeks and on September 18, the force said it has found “prima facie” evidence that its troops “exceeded” powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act during the encounter and initiated disciplinary proceedings. The police also launched its investigations and collected the DNA samples of the families to match with the slain persons.