Lawaypora ‘encounter’: IGP Rules Out Handing Over Of Bodies To Their Families
Says Police Ready For Smooth January 26 Functions; Elucidates On Shopian ‘Fake Encounter’ Money Claims
Srinagar, Jan 18 (GNS): Police on Monday ruled out the handing over to families the bodies of three persons killed in an “encounter” at Lawaypora in outskirts of Srinagar last month, saying that the involvement of the slain in militancy has been proved by 60% so far and within next ten days their parents would be convinced about it through more data.
Talking to reporters here on sides of a function regarding the traffic awareness week, Inspector General of Police Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar also announced that the security establishment was all prepared for ensuing January 26 functions even as “militants will try to carry out some incident.”
Responding to a question about the status of the investigation regarding Lawaypora “encounter”, the top police officer of Kashmir said that police was deliberately not sharing the details being a “very sensitive matter.” “So far the data collected by us shows that all the three associates killed in the encounter were involved in providing logistics (to militants). We want to take more time and will take ten more days to show to their parents and convince them where their children were involved,” he said as per the GNS correspondent.
Asked about the demand of the families of the slain including the father of one of the killed, Athar, that bodies be returned to them, he said, “As you know that a protocol is followed whenever there is any civilian’s death and people accept it. If we give body of any militant or associate, people turn up in thousands and the covid-19 is not over yet. Thousands of people will come and they either have to be dispersed by firing teargas shells or pellets.
You will also criticize us then. Their burial (burial of the trio) has been carried out in presence of the families including their parents. There was the presence of the magistrate and police also. There is no logic of returning the bodies as burial does not take twice.”
To a question that if it can be assumed that police is not returning their bodies for burial at the ancestral place, the IGP said, “There is no question of returning the bodies. Their involvement has been proved almost by 60% and data is coming and we will place everything before their parents to convince them about the involvement of their children.”
Asked if it is a permanent policy of police not to handover the bodies of the militants to their families, he said, “Until there is covid-19 problem we will not do it. You have seen that people get emotional in the burial of militants or their associates and people do not follow our directions unlike in case o the civilian death,” he said, adding, “There are only two means to stop, either by force in which there could be firing and further loss and second is not to handover the body for the larger public interest.”
Asked about Amshipora Shopian “fake encounter” and denial of army that the killing of three innocent persons from Rajouri on 18 July 2020 was done for money, he said, “It has been misinterpreted by media and social media. Money is given to the source in every encounter and not to the officer whether from police, military or paramilitary. In this case also, company commander has given the money as promised to source and the source has himself recorded before the magistrate under 164 IPC that money has been given to the source. They have not said Major or CO has been given the money and it has misinterpreted in media and social media.”
Asked about January 26 arrangements, he said, “We are already ready. Nakas checking has been started. Cordon and searches have been started. Our people are completely ready. Whatever technical and human resources we are having are being utilized fully.”
He said that militants will carry out some incident and “we are alert and every effort will be made to prevent it.” “We will make also preventive arrests.”
As regards anti-militancy operations and incidents of firing and grenade throwing, he said that every time there is a grenade attack, pistol shooting or firing etc, there is usually involvement of OGWs (Over Ground Workers) of militants.
“Yesterday, I want to share with you that we arrested one person through social media and during investigations he confessed that he was to carry out a killing in Anantnag town. The reason for revealing is to inform that new youth, OGW, are involved in it also and police is alert,” he said as per GNS, adding, “We are tracking it.
When militant comes, people know and runaway as they know what the militant is up to but in case of OGW they don’t know what is about to happen, and as such it remains our top priority.”
The top police officer also underlined the need for creating more awareness about the traffic rules.
“Every year, on the directions from MHA, road safety week is observed. The aim is to spread awareness about the traffic rules and every day there will be a new program in this endeavor,” he said, adding, “ Along with you journalists, police and traffic, we will together make it a success and create awareness about traffic safety. Every year thousands of people are killed in road accidents across the country. Awareness is a very important tool by which we can reduce it.” (GNS)