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July 18 Shopian encounter: Police team from Kashmir reaches Rajouri, collects DNA samples of parents of 3 missing youth | KNO

‘Samples collected in presence of a magistrate, Cross matching of samples at FSL soon’

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Srinagar, Aug 13 (KNO): In a significant development, Jammu and Kashmir Police Thursday collected the DNA samples of families of all three missing youth of Rajouri for the cross examination with trio who were killed in July 18 encounter at Ashmipora, Shopian. The development comes barely a few hours after Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said that a police team headed by DySP rank officer had left for Rajouri to complete legal formalities. A police official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the police team from Kashmir reached Rajouri and met officials at met the families of all three missing youth of Rajouri district, who claim that the trio killed at Shopian on July 18 were their kin. " The investigation team met with the parents and other family members of the slain trio in the District Police Office Rajouri. Their statements were recorded,” the official said. “Later, in presence of a magistrate, DNA samples of family members of all three slain youth were taken for cross matching with those killed on July 18 in Shopian gunbattle, whose samples have already been preserved.” Sources disclosed to KNO that the DNA samples were collected by  the team of doctors from Rajouri district hospital as per Standard Operating Procedure (SoP). Deputy Commissioner Rajouri, Nazir Ahmed Sheikh told KNO that the district administration facilitated collection of DNA samples of family members of all three missing persons. Meanwhile, several delegations of locals,elders and civil society groups met the police team from Kashmir and Rajouri police officers and demanded an impartial independent probe into the July 18 encounter that took place at Ashmipora, Shopian in which three youth, who according to police and army were militants, were killed. The families of three missing youth have been claiming that they lost their contact with the trio on July 17 and that their wards were working as labourers in Shopian and living in a rented accommodation. The family members have been asserting that the pictures of three youth killed in Shopian encounter are that of their wards and that DNA cross examination and exhumation of bodies should be allowed. Speaking to media men on the sidelines of a full dress rehearsal at SK Stadium earlier in the day today, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar had said that police were working on two aspects of the case—to go for cross examination of DNA samples and to check the call details of slain trio. He had said that DNA samples of family members and the slain trio will be sent to the Forensic Laboratory for matching. The Amnesty International and various political parties have already demanded an independent and transparent probe into the July 18 Shopian encounter to nail the truth—(KNO)

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