Police ‘forced’ Showkat to join militant ranks, says slain militant’s father

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Showkat’s father (right) waiting outside the encounter site

Pulwama: The father of a slain militant, who was killed along with two other militants in Pulwama encounter on Tuesday, alleged that his son was ‘forced’ to choose the path of militants by police. Police, however, denied the allegations.
Showkat Ahmad Dar, 22, left for his shop on August 19 but never returned, he said. “He told us that I am going on shop. But, he had not gone there. We were worried about his safety,” his father, Ghulam Qadir Dar, who was present at the encounter site in Hanjan Bala in the district, said.
Dar had come to persuade his son to lay down his arms before police but there was no response from Showkat, witnesses said.
Showkat was a religious boy who left his studies after passing his matriculation examination. “Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) used to detain him. He was also detained when weapons were snatched at Pakharpora,” Dar said.
The father of slain militant said that he or his family were not aware about Showkat’s whereabouts till yesterday. “We had also filed a report in police station,” he said.
A senior officer in police’s SOG said that Showkat was close to JeM District Commander Altaf Rather (also killed in the encounter) and his father’s allegations are baseless. “He had a good connection with him and ultimately he also joined militant ranks,” he said.
(GNS)

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