The Army has found “prima facie” evidence against security personnel exceeding powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act during an encounter in Kashmir’s Shopian district in which three men were killed in July this year.
An internal inquiry ordered by the Army into the encounter killing of three persons in Shopian district has held that the concerned security personnel had exceeded their powers under the AFSPA and recommended disciplinary proceedings.
Imtiyaz Ahmad, Abrar Ahmad, and Mohammad Ibrar from Rajouri district were killed by security forces during an operation in Amshipora village on 18 July 2020. While the security forces claimed that the three were terrorists from whom fire-arms and ammunition was recovered after the encounter, their relatives said that they had come to Shopian district to work as labourers and had nothing to do with terrorism.
Police had lodged a complaint on behalf of the relatives and collected samples for DNA matching with the slain persons.
Even as the DNA reports are yet to come, the Army’s internal inquiry, whose findings were made public on Friday, said: “The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of the Chief of Army Staff as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened.”
The preliminary inquiry has directed the competent disciplinary authority to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima facie answerable.
The inquiry report also held that the alleged involvement of the three persons in terrorism or related activities is under investigation by police. The report reiterated that the Indian Army is committed to the ethical conduct of operations.
With Agency Inputs