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July 18 Shopian Encounter: Army Says AFSPA Powers ‘Exceeded’

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Srinagar, Sept 18: Army on Friday said that a high-level Court of Inquiry set up by it into the July 18 encounter at Amshipora Shopian has concluded, bringing out “certain prima facie evidence indicating that during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded.
Also, Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that inquiry has found that the “Do’s and Don’ts of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as approved by the Supreme Court have been contravened”.
“Consequently, the competent disciplinary authority has directed to initiate disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act against those found prima-facie answerable,” he said in a statement.
“The evidence collected by the inquiry has prima-facie indicated that the three unidentified (militants) killed in Op Amshipora were Imtiyaz Ahmed, Abrar Ahmed and Mohd Ibrar, who hailed from Rajouri,” he said, “Their DNA report is awaited. Their involvement with (militants) or related activities is under investigation by the police.”
He said Indian Army is committed to ethical conduct of operations. “Further updates on the case will be given periodically without affecting due process of the law of the land.”
On July 18, police in a statement had said that three militants were killed in gunfight with joint team of police, army and CRPF in Shopian district on an input by army.
“On a specific input by 62RR about presence of (militants) in village Amshipora area, an operation was launched by them in the area,” a police spokesperson had said.
During search, he had said, the militants fired upon Army and encounter started. “Later on police and CRPF also joined. During encounter three unidentified militants were killed,” he had said in the statement, adding, “Bodies of all the killed three (militants) were retrieved from the site of encounter.” However, he said, the identification and group affiliation of the slain was being ascertained.
“Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter,” he said.
All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other militancy-related incidents, he had said.
“The bodies have been sent to Baramulla for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA,” he had said.

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