Kashmir government to probe ‘staged’ shootout

Srinagar, May 27 (IANS) The Jammu and Kashmir government Thursday ordered a magisterial probe into an alleged staged shootout in which the Indian Army had claimed to have killed three terrorists April 30 near the border with Pakistan.

A senior official told IANS that Kashmir divisional commissioner Naseema Lankar would conduct the probe into the killing of three people in the Machil sector of the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir Kupwara district.

Villagers in Nadihal in Sopore have been holding protest demonstrations for the last two weeks seeking the whereabouts of three village youth, namely Shahzad Ahmed, Riyaz Ahmad and Mohammad Shafi who have been missing for the last one month.

The villagers allege that the missing youth may have been killed in the shootout in Kupwara which may have been ‘staged’ by the army.

‘Following the public outcry about the fate of these three youth, the government has ordered a magisterial probe by the Kashmir divisional commissioner,’ the officer said.

‘If the allegations are proved, the law will take its course and whosoever is found involved in the incident would be turned over to justice.’

Police said a missing persons report has been lodged about the three village youth belonging to Nadihal village.

‘We have detained some persons in connection with this case whose interrogation is going on,’ said a police officer.