Troops violated power in Shopian encounter: Army

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 9/19/2020 11:37:21 PM

Says, they violated AFSPA rules, initiates disciplinary proceedings

NEW DELHI, Sep 18: The Army concluded its enquiry into Operation Amshipora and has found "prima facie" evidence that troops violated powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during an encounter in Kashmir's Shopian district in July in which three men were killed.
The Army has initiated disciplinary proceedings.
“The inquiry has brought out certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded and the Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Hon’ble Supreme Court have been contravened,” a statement by the Northern Command said.
The Indian Army has initiated disciplinary proceedings
It further said that competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable.
The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified terrorists killed in Op Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and MohdIbrar, who hailed from Rajouri.
"Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with terrorism or related activities is under investigation by the police," the statement read.
It further said that the Indian Army is committed to the ethical conduct of operations adding that further updates on the case will be given periodically without affecting the due process of the law of the land.
"Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable," the statement said.
It is not immediately clear how many Army men are being proceeded against.
Committed to ethical conduct during anti-militancy operations, 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, said Col Rajesh Kalia, the defence spokesperson in Srinagar.
The probe was completed in a record four weeks.
According to the rules, a Summary of Evidence will now be initiated against the erring Army personnel after which Court Martial proceedings will begin. “The Army has been maintaining high standards of transparency and punishing officials whenever rules are violated,” he said.
On July 18, the Army claimed three militants were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir's Shopian district.
The families of the three men from Rajouri who worked as labourers in Shopian had also filed a police complaint. Relatives of the three youths, belonging to Dhar Sakri village in Kotranka of Rajouri area in Poonch, had lodged a written missing persons report in the local police station after they lost contact with them on July 17.
The three were working as labourers in apple and walnut orchards in Amshipura.
The relatives said in their complaint that they had last spoken to the three on July 16 when they informed their families they had got a room in Amshipura.
The room was the site of the encounter two days later, the complaint stated.
General Officer Commanding Lt Gen B S Raju had taken note of social media reports and initiated a probe into the incident.
A general advertisement was published in local newspapers, asking people with any "credible information" about the case to step forward and share it with the court of inquiry instituted by the Army.
Police is also probing the three youths' call details and why they jumped out of a window when an operation was launched at their rented accommodation, a police official said, according to a news agency.
He added that their presence in around strategic places in Shopian since their arrival was also being investigated.



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