Mehbooba stopped from meeting families Poonch deceased civilians, holds sit-in protest

JAMMU — Police on Saturday stopped PDP president Mehbooba Mufti from meeting the families of three people found dead a day after being picked up for questioning by the Army following a militant attack in Poonch last week, her colleagues said.

On December 21, four soldiers were killed and three others injured in an ambush on two Army vehicles by militants in Poonch’s Surankote area.

Three civilians – Safeer Hussain (43), Mohd Showket (27) and Shabir Ahmad (32) – were picked up by the Army for questioning later. They were found dead the next day.

Mufti, accompanied by other party colleagues, was stopped by police at Dera Ki Gali near Buffliaz and was not allowed to proceed towards Topa Peer village to meet with the families of the victims, PDP leaders said.

The PDP chief staged a sit-in, demanding that she be allowed to visit the village and questioned the decision of the administration to place restrictions on her while allowing BJP president Ravinder Raina to meet the victims’ families recently, they added.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration last week announced compensation and jobs to the families of the dead civilians and said the medico-legal formalities were conducted and legal action in this matter has been initiated by the appropriate authority.

The Army has ordered a thorough internal investigation into the deaths of the three civilians and said it was committed to extending full support and cooperation in the conduct of the probe. — (PTI)