Srinagar, Jan 1 : Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday urged Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to intervene to return the bodies of the three alleged militants killed in an encounter in Srinagar to their families and initiated an impartial investigation into the incident.
Ms Mehbooba stated this in a letter addressed to Mr Sinha, two days after the family members of the slain alleged that the youth were innocent and were killed in a staged encounter.
“I am sure you are aware of the unfortunate incident at Parimpora on 30th December. Three boys, the youngest being all of 17 years old, were killed in what the family has alleged to be a staged gunfight,” Ms Mehbooba wrote in the letter.
She said the incident has come close on the heels of an inquiry report that held an Army captain guilty and responsible for a fake encounter at Amshipora in Shopian. “Again the three victims, now established as innocent through an investigation, were killed and later dubbed as militants,” she said.
“You and I may not agree on most political matters that concern J&K but I am certain we agree that such incidents bring disrepute to the armed forces and are a grave violation of human rights,” she added.
Ms Mehbooba said that she is aware that the administration is apprehensive about returning their bodies to the families but this callous decision will only exacerbate their sense of loss and pain. “One hopes that you will rethink this decision and allow them to get closure. A mother who grieves the sudden and tragic death of her beloved son shouldn’t be deprived of the last chance to see his face. Nor does she deserve to have to beg for his dead body. This is simply inhuman and unacceptable,” she said.
“I urge you to intervene and ensure that these families get a chance to perform the last rites as per their wishes,” the PDP president said.
The former chief minister said questions are also looming over this encounter and there are conflicting versions and reports from police and the army. “Justice can be served only if it’s swift and therefore I request you to initiate an impartial investigation into the matter immediately,” she added.