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Three youths were killed in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district in a fake encounter.

As kin of the three say they had no militancy links, Army admits to exceeding powers but does not elaborate how the "wrongs were committed."

As kin of the three say they had no militancy links, Army admits to exceeding powers but does not elaborate how the "wrongs were committed."In a July 18 encounter, the Army claimed to have killed three unidentified militants in Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir. However, following claims made by the families of the youth that they had no links to militant activities and, in fact, were laborers who traveled to Shopian for work, the Army launched an inquiry into the encounter.

An internal probe by the Army found that those killed were indeed from Rajouri – as their families had claimed – and that “during the operation, powers vested under the AFSPA 1990 were exceeded.” The Army did not elaborate on exactly how the Armed Forces Special Powers Act was exceeded. The guidelines were contravened but said that disciplinary proceedings under the Army Act would be initiated against those found prima facie answerable, The Wire reported.

On Oct. 10, the Army said that it hopes that the Summary of Evidence, a step before a possible court-martial, would conclude soon and take the case to the next stage.

Corps Commander of the Army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen BS Raju, said the Army had begun the Summary of Evidence as some wrongs were committed during the encounter. “We have already shared the basic information (in the case) that the initial court of inquiry has been concluded, and we have seen some wrongs committed,” Lt Gen Raju said.

Even though the DNAs have matched the family members and the Army has admitted to exceeding powers, the investigation in the case is underway. Since the Army has not clarified the nature of its missteps on the day of the encounter, it cannot be determined whether the three youth had links to militant activities or were wrongly killed.

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