Soon after the gunfight at Srinagar outskirts was over, there was a new twist to this encounter when the families came to Srinagar and said that the killed militants were innocent boys who have been killed in a staged encounter.
Ajaz Maqbool, 20, son of Muhamad Maqbool Ganai, a head constable in Jammu and Kashmir police from Pulwama, along with Ather Mushtaq Wani, 16, of Pulwama and Zubair Ahmad Lone, 22, of Shopian were killed in an “encounter” with the Army recently at the Lawaypora HMT. However, the family members described the “encounter” as fake and staged.
The police said they were not part of the operation and there was no adverse record against the boys with the police. But the police maintained that they have no reason to doubt the Army’s version of their involvement in the gunfight.
Soon after the encounter, the relatives staged a protest outside the police control room, Srinagar seeking their bodies. The police didn’t hand over their bodies and instead took them to Sonmarg or to some unknown destination as it is now a routine in Kashmir post pandemic that the bodies of militants are not given back to their families.
The claims of the families have been taken up by the political leadership of Kashmir including the MP from south Kashmir Hasnain Masoodi. The National Conference in a statement said that the MP of their party has been assured by LG Sinha that there would be an impartial investigation into this episode.