Srinagar: A family from South Kashmir’s Khanbal area of Anantnag has claimed that their son Muhammad Imran Dar was killed in a “fake encounter” at Munad area of Kulgam by the government forces on Sunday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police said that Imran was a militant from Batengoo area of Khanabal and was killed in an encounter at the South Kashmir village.
Imran’s father, Abdul Qayoom Dar, however, has urged the authorities to file an FIR against what he believes was a fake encounter in which his “civilian” son was killed.
In a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Anantnag district, a copy of which he has sent to Lt. Governor of the J&K union territory, Manoj Sinha, Qayoom said his son was not involved with militancy related activities.
“My son was a civilian and we hadn’t a doubt about that. He was moving freely like any other civilian. Last time he was seen by me at a petrol pump on July 24 at 6:00 pm which is nearby our house,” Qayoom wrote.
On July 25 at 8 am, Qayoom received a call from his Sarpanch that the police post at Khanbal has summoned him and his son. He received another call directly from the police post after sometime.
“I being away from home couldn’t reach the police post instantly, I took the matter lightly as I couldn’t think in my wildest dreams that anything terrible would happen. Near about 4:00 pm I reached police Post Khanabal where they showed me the photograph of my son’s dead body,” Qayoom claims.
Qayoom added that his son’s killing came as a “shock” to him as he saw his dead son’s picture.
“I contacted the D.O concerned and Dysp who assured me that you can collect the dead body of your son from PCR Srinagar which is lying there,” he mentioned in the letter.
By the time Qayoom and his family rushed to the police control room at Srinagar – over 40 km from his village – he was late. His son had already been buried another 80 km from the city in Handwara area of North Kashmir.
“I request your good self kindly, look into the matter personally and help the family to retrieve his dead body and an FIR should be lodged to investigate the matter properly so that justice is delivered as we are law abiding family,” Qayoom wrote in the letter.
Nearly 100 militants have been killed in the region with over a dozen in Jammu division. In July, over two dozen militant encounters have been reported in Kashmir valley where as many as 27 militants have been killed in less than a month’s time. Most of these operations have been carried out by the armed forces in South Kashmir – a former militant bastion.
Meanwhile, since the last year, many families in Kashmir have claimed that their sons have been killed in similar encounters and wrongly passed off as militants. Last year in July, the Indian Army carried out an encounter in Amshipora area of Shopian following which they said three militants were killed. The families of these slain youth, including a minor, however, said they were labourers, a claim that was later found to be true.
While a majority of militants in Kashmir are ideologically driven, the Jammu and Kashmir police have also been accused of using excessive force against youth that often pushes them towards militancy. However, Imran’s family believes their son was neither ideologically driven nor part of any militant group until the police claimed so.
The police and administration in Anantnag and Srinagar did not comment on Qayoom’s case.