Kashmiri moderate leader seeks intl probe in fake encounter
Srinagar, May 31: The moderate separatist leader and cleric, Miwaiz Umar Farooq Monday demanded an international probe into the recent killing of three youth by Indian army in a fake encounter in Indian Kashmir.
Three Kashmir youth Shahzad Ahmad, Riyaz Ahmad and Muhammad Shafi, hailing from North Kashmir’s Nadihal, Rafiabad area had gone missing on April 28. Their bullet ridden bodies were exhumed from a graveyard in Kalaroos along Line of Control (defacto border between India and Pakistan in Kashmir) on Friday last. They were killed by Indian army in a fake encounter in Machil sector along Line of Control on April 30 and were labeled as foreign militants.
After the police probe indicted Indian army officer and his men in the killing, the army on Sunday ordered a high-level inquiry into the fake encounter.
However, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads a moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference (a separatist conglomerate) rejected the police and army probe. “We have no faith in local police, army and Indian investigating agencies. We have seen how Indian premier Investigative agency CBI hushed-up the investigations into the rape and death of two Kashmiri women in South Kashmir’s Shopian townhip last year,” Mirwaiz told media persons here.
Bodies of two women Asiya (17) and her 22-year old sister-in-law Neelofar were recovered from a shallow stream in Shopian, some 55 kms south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Srinagar during the night intervening May 29/30. The locals and family members of the victims alleged that they were raped and killed by Indian security men deployed in the area. The Inquiry commission appointed by the Kashmir government had admitted that the two were raped and killed and ruled out the ‘drowning theory’.
However, to the shock of people, India’s premier investigative agency CBI in its investigations ruled out rape and murder of two women and claimed that the two women died of drowning.
Mirwaiz said people in Kashmir have no faith in Indian investigations. “The probes are being ordered to fool international community and hoodwink their opinion. Not a single Indian trooper involved in killings, arson and rape has been punished so far despite ordering of hundreds of probes by the authorities,” he said.
The separatist leader demanded an international probe into the fake encounter to unravel the truth. “An international committee should impartially probe the killing of three youth in fake encounter to establish the facts. Scores of youth have gone missing recently and we don’t know their fate. The international probe is must to trace out their whereabouts, Mirwaiz said.
He alleged that under the garb of fake encounter, India was trying to give justification for militarization of the region and imposition of draconian laws giving impunity to Indian soldiers for their acts in Kashmir. “Indian army should be withdrawn from Kashmir and special powers repealed,” he demanded.
Referring to the recent statement of Indian prime minister in which he had invited the separatist for talks, Miwaiz said the human rights violations and the dialogue process cannot go together. “If India is really sincere in initiating a dialogue process, it should stop its men from committing human rights violations and punish the soldiers and officers, who are involved in such inhuman acts,” he added.
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