‘There will be justice’: Rajnath Singh to families of Poonch deceased civilians

JAMMU — On a visit to Poonch-Rajouri in Jammu, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reached out to the families of the three civilians who died after being picked up for questioning after the December 21 ambush in which four Indian Army soldiers were killed and assured them that they would get justice.

Singh, who arrived in the Rajouri-Poonch sector on a day-long visit to review the security situation, also “met with the families of the deceased persons, residents of village Topa Peer of Bufliaz in Poonch district”.

The minister assured an “expeditious investigation into the incident culminating into deliverance of justice”, the statement added.

“Whatever has happened…there will be justice,” the minister told reporters at the Government Medical College to meet the four men being treated for injuries, allegedly sustained during their torture by security forces.

“We were taken to Rajouri this morning where we met the defence minister. There were six members from the three families. The defence minister told us that the administration will address our demands. He also assured that we will get justice and promised completion of the investigations within a month,” said Mohammad Sadeeq, panch of Topa Peer village and uncle of 22-year-old Showkat Ali, one of the three dead men.

Singh, who also paid tributes to the soldiers killed in action, said the country would remain indebted to the soldiers for their sacrifice and underlined that it was their duty not to only safeguard the nation’s interests “but also to win the hearts of the people”.

On December 21, four soldiers were killed and three were injured in an ambush at Dhatyar Morh in Poonch’s Surankote.

Nine men were picked up for interrogation the next morning, and three of them – Safeer Hussain (44), Showket Ali (22) and Shabir Hussain (32) – were found dead later in the day.

The families of the deceased alleged they were tortured to death inside a 48 RR camp at Bafliaz. — (Hindustan Times)