Srinagar: No chemical weapons were used during the encounter/ operation against militants at Bandipora this year on September 20, the J&K Police and Administration told the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) in a report on Thursday.
The report submitted by Deputy Commissioner Bandipora and SSP Bandipora before the SHRC ruled out the use of chemical weapons and acknowledged use of LMG, INSAS, and AK-47 rifles and IEDs during counter-insurgency encounters or operations.
The report was submitted in reply to a petition filed by rights activist Ahsan Untoo in case SHRC/330/BPR/2018.
During an encounter on September 20 this year in Sumlar Bandipora, five militants were killed but their bodies were mutilated beyond recognition.
According to the Deputy Commissioner Bandipora’s report, on September 20 on the basis of information about the presence of five militants at village Shokhbaba, Bandipora, a joint cordon was launched by police, army and CRPF in the area. The standard operating procedure (SOP) was followed and the civilians living in the area were first evacuated, the report said.
Similarly, the report filed by Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bandipora stated that militants opened fire on government forces but the forces first evacuated civilians trapped in the compound where the militants were hiding.
The report reads that LMG, INSAS, and AK-47 rifles and IEDs were used against the militants in the operation. The petitioner had sought details as to whether the government forces were using chemical weapons to kill militants during encounters.
Reacting to the police and administration’s reply, Ahsan Untoo said that it was unfortunate that forces were using IEDs to blow up houses where militants hide. He questioned if the IEDs used were so powerful that they burned the bodies of militants beyond recognition?
“I urge the commission (SHRC) to seek a detailed report from the Government of India on this serious issue,” Untoo said, adding, “Use of IEDs against militants is not only unfortunate but a war crime.”