Bandipora family says kin killed in fake encounter

Srinagar, October 12 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the family of a youth, Imtiyaz Ahmed Dar, martyred by Indian troops in Bandipora district on Monday has said that that he was killed by the troops in a fake encounter.

Indian police had claimed that Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar was a militant and was killed in a gunfight with the troops in Gund Jahangir village area of the district.

Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, 25-year-old Dar’s cousin, told Media that the family searched for him everywhere after he disappeared to know his whereabouts, but couldn’t trace him, “till we came to know that he was killed in a gunfight today. It was a fake gunfight.”

The police claimed that Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar was involved in the killing of president of local taxi drivers association Mohammad Shafi alias Sonu, last week. Shafi was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 5 October in Shahgund area of Bandipora.

However, the family said that the day Shafi was killed Dar was working in his paddy fields and returned home in the evening.

“Next day he was working with me in the paddy fields,” said Ishfaq Khan. “It was around 11:30 am when he received a call from the army inquiring about his whereabouts.”

“We were busy harvesting when a friend of his called him on a phone that the army was looking for him. Soon after he got another call, and this time it was the army that was calling him to immediately report to them,” Khan said.

He said after the call Dar immediately changed his work clothes and left to report to the army. “He told me that he is going to meet the army and left the place,” Khan said.

He added the moment Dar came out of the paddy field and headed towards the street, they saw the army vehicles heading towards the same direction.

“We don’t know whether he was picked up by the army at the same time,” said Khan. “But, an hour after he left we tried his cell phone and it was switched off. After that there were no whereabouts of my cousin.”

Ishfaq Khan further added that the same day when Dar disappeared, his family that included his father, brother, and two brother-in-laws were also picked up by the police.