The DNA samples of three men who were killed in an alleged fake encounter with the Army in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district in July have matched with their families from Rajouri, a senior police officer said on Friday.
Asked whether the three men were indeed labourers, as claimed by their families, and not involved in terrorist activities, he said it is a matter of further investigation.
On July 18, the Army had claimed three terrorists were killed in Amshipura village in the higher reaches of south Kashmir's Shopian.
It initiated an inquiry after social media reports indicated that the three men were from Rajouri and had gone missing in Amshipura.
The families of the three men claimed they worked as labourers in Shopian and lodged a police complaint.
The police also launched an investigation and collected the DNA samples of the three families from Rajouri to match with the slain men.
"The DNA report has come and matching has taken place," Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters in Srinagar.
Asked if he meant that the DNA samples of the three men have matched with the families from Rajouri, he said, "There is positive matching with the families from Rajouri."
On whether it had been established that the three men were labourers and not involved in any terrorist activities, Kumar said, "The police are now taking up further investigations in the case."
The Army completed its inquiry into the matter in a record four weeks.
On September 18, the force said it had found 'prima facie' evidence that its troops 'exceeded' powers under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) during the encounter and has initiated disciplinary proceedings.
Meanwhile, after the DNA test results were announced, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Friday questioned the official version that arms and ammunition were recovered from the Shopian encounter site in July.
'According to this official version, 'incriminating materials, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter'. So who planted this 'incriminating material''” Omar said in a tweet.
'These young men were buried somewhere in North Kashmir. It is imperative that the bodies be exhumed & handed over to the families immediately so that a proper burial can take place near their homes in Rojouri district,' Omar, who is also the National Conference vice president, said.
Sajad Lone, chairman of People's Conference, said he did not expect anything to change due to the latest developments as such cases have happened in the past as well.
'Will there be any change? Will the sanctity of human life be restored? No. nothing will change. This encounter was exposed by our media forcing initiation of investigation. As hiding it in today's digital age was not possible. My thoughts with the 3 men murdered in cold blood,' Lone wrote on Twitter.
'Had this been the first time, one could have hoped it won't happen again. It is not the first time and not the last time. There is no deterrence and in Delhi there is a lot of tolerance for HR violations in Kashmir. Justice will be ornamental unless it is divine,' he added.