A day after the J&K military and police described the three men killed in a meeting in Srinagar as “ terrorists ” and “ staunch associates, ” respectively, the families of the trio made holes in the version. policewoman and pleaded their innocence.
The families, two of which have members working with the Jammu and Kashmir police, described the claims of two forces as concocted and full of loopholes. They alleged that the three had no connection with activism and were killed during an organized meeting. While two were students, aged 22 and 17, the third, aged 24, was a construction worker.
On Wednesday, the three men from southern Kashmir were killed during a meeting with the military on the outskirts of Srinagar in Lawaypora on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Police said an AK rifle, two pistols and other incriminating materials were recovered from the killed.
Mohammad Maqbool Ganie, father of murdered Aijaz Ganie – one of three men killed in Wednesday’s meeting – who works with Jammu and Kashmir police, told News 18 there was no evidence suggesting that her son was involved in militant activities.
He said Aijaz had been on complete bed rest for the past 35 days on the doctor’s advice. He was barely out of his house as he had serious back problems, he said. “The whole village knew he was staying at home. Where was the chance that he would join activism if he was bedridden and confined at home, ”he asked.
Ganie said her son left for Pulwama University on Tuesday to submit his form. He said he was seen having tea in a tea room in Pulwama at 3 p.m. “There are eyewitness accounts that suggest he was in Pulwama at 3:00 pm and that the meeting with Lawaypora started at 5:00 pm. How come he got there and transported the weapons to the site. Does that mean he enjoyed tea and also shipped weapons? Said Ganie, who is police chief of Ganderbal.
He said Aijaz spoke on the phone twice during the day – at 3 p.m. with her sister and around 4 p.m. with her mother. He said he was coming home with a friend and if it got late he would stay home, he recalls.
He refuted the police claim that his son was a surface worker. “How can a person become a surface worker in an hour or two? Surely we would have had an idea if he was. Or the police could have told us, ”Ganie said, adding that in this case there must be an FIR or raids on her house.
He said the family had no idea of Aijaz’s murder until Wednesday morning and that he was informed by the concerned Rajpora police station that there had been an encounter in Lawaypora.
“They first asked for a photo of Aijaz and when I asked what had happened I was told to visit the police control room. At the PCR, I was shocked to see my son’s body lying with two other boys, ”he added.
“All I want is justice and my son’s corpse,” he said.
Irfan Ahmad Wani, brother of Zubair Wani, another youth killed, said there was no substance in the police statement that he (Zubair) was involved in activism. “He ran a good formwork company and would be busy with it.” Irfan and his older brother are police officers.
He appeared angry at the police statement where it was mentioned that the families were not aware of their neighborhoods involvement in militant activities. “If the police had such information, why didn’t they tell us or arrest us. Or file a case, ”he says.
“Zubair’s record is clear. There is no FIR against him. If this had been the case, the village chief would have been communicated. Check with the local police station and they will tell you that there is no case against him.
Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, father of Athar Wani, 17, also questioned the murder, saying that according to standard procedure, parents are summoned to dating sites to persuade their neighborhoods to surrender. “We were not called until after their murder. No effort was made to save them, ”he said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called for the bodies to be returned to families. “Met the families of the young men killed during the Lawaypora meeting. Forget justice, even their corpses are not returned to them for the last rites. They have lost their beloved sons forever and, in the midst of grief, have to even plead for closure, ”she wrote on Twitter.
The military and police said they made repeated calls on Tuesday and Wednesday for the trio to lay down their arms, but instead the trio fired and threw grenades at the troops. “The impression we got was that they didn’t want to surrender,” HS Sahi, commanding general officer, Kilo Force, said on Wednesday.
He said the trio were plotting to carry out a major terrorist attack in Srinagar for publicity. A police statement late in the evening said the three were “unconditional associates of the terrorists.” Police said they would investigate the case and come to a conclusion on the merits soon.