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‘Shopian encounter’: Family refutes police claims, says kin wasn’t militant

Srinagar, October 22 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, hours after the Indian police claimed to have killed two mujahideen in Shopian district, family members of one of the deceased, pleading his innocence, said that their kin was on his way to a court hearing when the purported gunfight took place.

According to Kashmir Media Service, the slain identified as Shakir Ahmad Wani was martyred by the Indian troops during a so-called cordon and search operation in Dragad area of Shopian on Wednesday (20 Oct 2021).

The family said that Sahkir was a tractor driver and was on way to court for his hearing in a case related to his work.

Shakir’s brother, Mohammad Yousuf Wani, in a media interview, said that the family didn’t believe that their kin was involved in any militancy-related incidents. “My brother was driving a tractor to earn his livelihood. On Wednesday also he was at his work at a Nallah (river stream) till 9 am,” Wani said. He said that around 9:30am, Shakir left for a court hearing about a case related to his work at a Pulwama court.

“We were busy harvesting at our paddy field, when someone told us that Shakir had been killed in an encounter in Shopian,” Wani said. “Initially, we didn’t believe it. But then the news of his killing started pouring from all directions,” he added.

Yousuf Wani said that after getting the confirmation of Shakir’s killing, they [family] rushed to the supposed encounter site, but the police had already taken away his body. “We then travelled to Police Control Room in Srinagar, but there we were told that Shakir will be buried in Kupwara.”

Refuting the claims of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar that Shakir had recently joined the militant ranks, Yousuf Wani said, “If my brother was affiliated with militancy, why weren’t the police looking for him. He was at home all the time”.

Rayees Qadri, Shakir’s lawyer, confirmed to media that he had a court hearing on Wednesday and was supposed to be present before an additional session’s judge in Pulwama court in the afternoon.

It is worth mentioning that systematic killing of the Kashmiri youth in extrajudicial manner and in fake encounters is a regular tactic of Indian troops in IIOJK. They are doing this to seek promotions and rewards as well as instilling fear among the Kashmiris. The troops have carried out thousands of such murders in the occupied territory in the last three decades but there is not a single case in which the guilty men in uniform have been brought to justice. This points to the fact that these heinous crimes against the Kashmiris have got the stamp from the highest echelons of power in India.

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